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Faith by Father Ian Maher Looking back on the time when I became a Christian, as a young man of 20, one thing more than anything else moved me from unbelief to faith. It wasn’t a sermon, or a book, or any formal teaching, but the example of a life. My parish priest, with infinite patience, listened to me rant and rage about how there could not possibly be God in a world full of suffering. He soaked it all up over a period of months, never once belittling me or making me feel that any questions or doubts expressed were out of bounds.

has been and remains an ongoing journey of discovering what this means for me and for how I live my life. That’s a little bit of my own ‘faith story’ with which you may, or may not, identify. There is a saying that faith is caught, not taught, and I agree that trying to argue a person into faith is both futile and contradictory.

More than 40 years on, I cannot remember anything in particular that he said to me, but I do remember this very clearly: there was something about him, a quality to his life, a faith which was a lens through which he saw, understood and interpreted the world.

Faith, for me, is about venturing onto a path well trodden by countless others before me who have found, for them, a way through life that offers a different frame of reference from which to face all that comes our way. My first parish priest was such a man for me.

That was something I wanted for myself, and the penny eventually dropped. I knew in my heart that Christ had risen from the dead and, since then, my life

In Luke’s gospel (10.21-24) there is a short section where Jesus rejoices that faith in God is not dependent on intelligence, or qualifications, or formal learning – important though such things are in life – but is, rather, available to infants. Jesus’ reference here is to the openness, wonder, and trust that infants have in relation to a world beyond their ability to comprehend. But he is not speaking only about children.

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