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Fr Dwight Longenecker Asks: Does Faith Work?

By Fr Dwight Longenecker
September 18th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

As a priest one of the things I find most difficult is to help people realize that the faith they profess is practical. It works. Of all the expressions of the Christian faith, it is the Catholic faith which is the most down to earth. Catholicism is nuts and bolts religions. It is meat and potatoes. The Catholic faith wears working clothes.

GREENVILLE, SC (Catholic Online) - As a priest one of the things I find most difficult is to help people realize that the faith they profess is practical. It works. Of all the expressions of the Christian faith, it is the Catholic faith which is the most down to earth. Catholicism is nuts and bolts religions. It is meat and potatoes. The Catholic faith wears working clothes.

Because I know from experience the practical benefits of the Catholic faith it is all the more disappointing to discover that so many Catholics never seem to make the connection between what they do on Sunday and what they do with the rest of their time. It seems that their faith does not connect with their daily lives. They don't seem to know how to get their faith to work. It's like they've got the owner's manual for a car, and they have the key, but they haven't figured out how to unlock the door, get into the driver's seat, start her up and get going!

Within the Catholic life I have seen how the practice of prayer and attentive participation in the sacraments changes lives. I've seen how study of the faith, knowledge of the sacred Scriptures and engagement in Christian service help to transform individuals, families and whole communities. I know that faith works, but if faith works it is also true that faith is hard work. God gives us grace, but we have to have elbow grease. We have to co-operate with God in order for our faith to work and to have the abundant life Christ promises.

The energy required is not very great. We simply have to learn how to 'go with God'. The returns for this investment in our time and effort is great. Once God's power is released in the world it is not only our own lives that grow and prosper spiritually, but the blessings overflow to our families, our friends, our community and our world. What the world needs now is the saving and transforming power of God. That power can change the world one Catholic at a time.

This is why I've started a new, free, weekly e-newsletter. It's called, FaithWorks, and it will be delivered to subscribers by email on a weekly basis. It's not a dramatic and fancy publication. I've put it together and will publish it to all who are interested. There will be a few articles on the practical practice of the Catholic faith each week. I'll include some links to valuable websites and books and resources. I'll let you know how, with a little bit of effort, you can grow your Catholic life and draw closer to God.

I hope you will subscribe, and if you enjoy FaithWorks tell a friend or two. That way it will not only be your faith that grows, but the faith of the whole church will grow. By sharing this little publication you'll do a small part in the new evangelization that will renew our church, our communities and our world.

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Fr Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He is author of many articles and books on the Catholic faith. Visit his website and blog at www.dwightlongenecker.com. To subscribe to Fr Longenecker's new e-newsletter go here:

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