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"Conversion on the way to Damascus," by Caravaggio

Faith is a matter of vision: it is a way of seeing more truly and more fully, the healing of our minds that allows us to grasp what is real and what is true in its entirety.

Delivered on Monday of Holy Week 2020, this second of seven reflections explores the question of faith, asking what faith is, what it means to have faith, and what it means to act as a faith-filled person. Speaking in the midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Monsignor James P. Shea’s reflections on faith are applicable to all seasons of life.


The crisis of the pandemic was not so much unprecedented as it was a manifestation of the world’s fallen state from the very beginnings of the human race. Such crises do not diminish Christianity; rather, Christianity was made for time dark times and suffering people. In such moments, the cross of Christ – the true measure of the world – shines forth as a light to the nations. Momentary afflictions prepare us for an eternal weight of glory.

While faith involves putting our trust in things we cannot see, it is not meant to be blind: it is rather an opening of the eyes to light. With St. Paul, we look not to things that are seen, but to things that are unseen, for the things that are seen are transient but the things that are unseen are eternal. Faith is thus a vision – a way of seeing more truly and more fully, the healing of our minds so that we can grasp what is real and what is true in its entirety.

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