How deep is your faith in God?

To what depths would you travel to hold fast to your faith? How high would you climb to defend all you believe? To what length would you journey to reach the gates of heaven? How far would you go to know God? These questions serve to recall a wonderful love song “How deep is the Ocean” written and composed by Irving Berlin in 1932 which within its lyrics asks much the same questions. Although admittedly of love and not faith, the song asks, “How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky? How far would I travel to be where you are? How far is the journey from here to a star?

How deep? How High?

How deep? How High?

But the questions are both appropriate and compelling in any attempt to calculate, quantify, and even validate one’s faith and in this matter I am specifically speaking of one’s faith in God, the Creator of us all. There is no intention here to confine faith to any particular religion or belief system but rather to narrow the focus to the very limits of rational, spiritual faithfulness and devotion to a God beyond our knowing.

Within this context faith in God is always both individual and personal. It is a unique relationship between a creature and the Creator built on the free assent and absolute trust in all that the Creator has chosen to reveal to His creation. The perfection of Almighty God is iustus causa or just cause for an absolute belief in what has been revealed. The same cannot be said for placing such faith in any creature, that is to say, any human being. Placing one’s faith in another person must always be tempered by the admonition “trust but verify” first inscribed by former President Ronald Reagan.

There are those who argue that any faith in a power greater than man is mere blind irrational absurdity propelled by unwarranted mindless fear. Thankfully those poor souls who hold onto this notion are relatively rare and can generally be dismissed without much concern. But then there are those who with unyielding rabid and often virulent fervor seek the annihilation and damnation of all who are in the slightest disagreement with their notion or version of the truth.

Unlike the former, the latter is in rapid ascendancy bearing with it compelling and immediate threats to all who might beg to differ. Those who fall into this camp do not profess a single religion or ascribe to a solitary dogma or belief system. It is not their faith that is cause for our concern but rather it is their unwavering belief in the human-contrived truths to which they so rigidly adhere. The truth is theirs alone and all who know not their truth be damned.

Each of us may one day be called to face such a moment of truth, a moment when what you believe comes into direct confrontation with those who virulently believe otherwise. Its name is religious persecution and it intrinsically calls forth the necessity to stand steadfast in your faith while willingly accepting the possibility of martyrdom.

So those questions remain for you to ponder. To what depths would you travel? How high would you climb? To what length would you journey? How far would you go to know God?

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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