In your own faith:
- Can you remember when you became “curious” about the faith – whether as a convert, revert, or cradle Catholic just waking up to mature discipleship?
- How would you explain the difference between an active and passive faith?
Thus I can state, I grow in fitful and sometimes manic spurts of fervent curiosity, followed by exhausted overwhelmed slack. At the start the Year of Faith, I was doing the daily rosary, reading a psalm a day, reading the daily readings and then it got to be too much, and like a child made to read something beyond her comprehension, I shut down and fell away to doing nothing. Then, I got pushed to start again. I am a lurching runner in this faith marathon, who walks and sometimes just stands, but hasn't quit trying to push through all of it.
Seven years ago, when I started writing in earnest, I created a file on my computer, the Catholic Apologist Education file, and began collecting articles I liked, websites, and began seeking to know more, to read more, to actually pick up books on faith. Before then, I admit, I allowed my Catholicism to be formed purely by experience and the senses, but not the intellect.
So I would argue, an active faith uses everything we have, whereas a passive one allows some part of the mind, body or heart to sleep, so that the soul stays less aware, is less likely to be seized by the words of God and thus called to leap in some fashion, into deeper relationship. We are always in danger of falling asleep (even the apostles did this on serious occasions), and so Jesus even says, "Stay awake!" I would also say, the Holy Spirit uses whatever we give Him, to try and wake the whole of us. So if we are active in the mind in our pursuits of God, He will bring us people, so that we may know Him better. If we are active in the body in our pursuit of God, He will push us toward prayer. If we are fervent in prayer, He will push us toward contemplation. Whatever we are doing, is baseline, God will always draw us to deeper waters, because He longs for us to know Him infinitely.
How do we keep from slumbering in our relationship with God? Read. Pray. Listen. Act. Repeat.
An active faith is deliberate, and thus adult. A passive faith is organic and led only, which eventually leads to not seeking to be led, and then to not following, and then not faith.