On August 14, 1999 if, someone would have asked me, "Do you know Maria (my wife)?" I would have said, "YES! Of course. I know her favorite song, band, favorite color, her family, and where she went to school. I know her. I am about to profess my love to her in front of God, family, and friends." However, after five years of marriage, I could confidently say I knew Maria more. Five years later, I could testify that I knew my wife more. Approaching 25 years of marriage this summer, I can reflect on that initial date and say, "WOW, that was a complete leap of faith; I barely knew that woman!" I look forward to how much I will know her after 50 years.

If this is true for our spouse, who is finite, then how much more is it true with our infinite Lord and our Catholic Faith? The journey to knowing our faith is a lifelong pursuit; it is never done. The Catechism says, "Thanks to its supernatural sense of faith, the People of God as a whole never ceases to welcome, to penetrate more deeply and to live more fully from the gift of divine Revelation" (CCC 94). It never ends.

I was a teacher for 13 years in our Catholic schools. As great as they are, I would get a sense from graduating students they felt their knowledge of the faith was complete. THIS CANNOT BE THE CASE! Our understanding of the faith never ends. So, I encourage you, if you are not doing something to grow your knowledge of the faith, start now. Here are some suggestions:

  • Read the Bible daily: "In order to be strong and effective, the life of faith must be constantly nourished by the Word of God" (CCC 158). It can be a new experience every time, and it has a way of being relevant to you.

  • Join a Bible Study: Gaining insights into the Word of God is always beneficial.

  • Read: There are many great Catholic books written for the laity. I have found that my prayer life becomes dry when I am not reading, but when I am, there is always something I can take to prayer.

  • Join a Book Club: It is a great way to keep you accountable and gain deeper insights into your reading.

  • Join a discipleship group: Small men's or women's groups can be essential to growth. We desire to know how to live this Christian life, specifically, how we can live it presently. Discipleship groups help this tremendously.

  • Go on an annual retreat: It is a great way to reboot, but it is also a great way to meet others who desire growth as well.

  • Attend workshops, talks, or conferences offered at your parish or diocese: It is rare when I have not benefited from them.

  • Go on a pilgrimage: Pilgrimages are a spiritual experience. It is not a vacation but an amazing way to deepen and inspire your faith.

You do not need to do all these things; however, take the leap and grow your faith. We invest in things we are passionate about, and it should be the same for our faith.

The more we know, the more we will love our faith and desire to share it. "Faith seeks understanding: it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love" (CCC 158).

Chris Stewart — SFA Theologians Guild Member