Early in the last century a philosopher/theologian by the name of Romano Guardini wrote a book on the societal revolt against faith.
In "The Death of the Modern World." Guardini showed how in the past our faith was supported by the world around us: our family, our friends and our community. Those around us believed in God and their expectations aided us in being faithful to God. To break with God would mean to break with those who were important in our lives. Our reluctance to sever these relationships forced us to remain dedicated to God even when we were weak.
Guardini pointed out that society was changing and not only was it not supporting us in our faith, but it was headed in a direction that would cause it to actively argue against us believing. He wrote that in the days to come (which are now upon us), because many would not have the cleverness to successfully argue against the society in which we live, many would be lost to the faith.
We can clearly see that he was correct.
However, he also pointed out that those who clung to the faith would give greater honor and glory to God, because they would be doing so not in response to the pressure of those around them, but because of the gift of faith within them.
I knew a little girl of 8 or 9 years old. She didn't know her father. Her mother left her with her grandparents and took off. Her brother was in a detention facility. Her grandparents never went to church. The world around her shouted that there was no point in faith. This little girl got up each Sunday morning, got herself dressed and walked to church. She was responding to the grace of God within her, calling her to believe regardless of what the rest of the world said.
I'm sure you'll agree with me that this child by her simple faith wondrously rendered honor and glory to God.
Each of us must make this choice. Because of the society in which we live, many will choose not to believe, but those who do will be exceedingly pleasing in the eyes of God.
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week's column comes from Rev. Joseph T. Orr, the priest for the Lock Haven Catholic churches.