Faith is Conversion
By Mark Eckstine
“Faith, tied as it is to conversion, is the opposite of idolatry; it breaks with idols to turn to the living God in a personal encounter. Believing means entrusting oneself to a merciful love which always accepts and pardons, which sustains and directs our lives, and which shows its power by its ability to make straight the crooked lines of our history. Faith consists in the willingness to let ourselves be constantly transformed and renewed by God’s call. Herein lies the paradox: by constantly turning towards the Lord, we discover a sure path which liberates us from the dissolution imposed upon us by idols.” Lumen Fidei — Pope Francis
I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to put my faith into action in a more real way, to really live it. Would people ever say, from looking at my life, that I live according to what I profess in the Creed each Sunday? “He believes in God, the Father, the Almighty and his life reﬂects that belief and trust.” I doubt it and I am pretty sure that they would not, though I still wonder. But I know I want my life to reﬂect that. I know that ultimately it does not matter how others judge us, but what I am talking about is the fruit of our lives. Do I have good fruit?
For me and my family, life in missions has been that opportunity, the opportunity to really live out our faith and conversion. This conversion is to have our hearts enlarged with the love of God and neighbor. In places we have served, poverty is very obvious and we try to embrace poverty as much as we can (compared to most we serve we are still rich). Our budget is sufﬁcient but what is left never seems to be enough to help all those we encounter and our hearts desire to help. This leaves our hearts asking questions, “Do we really need all we buy?” and “Can we do with less?” The answers are usually “No” and “Yes,” but even when they are“Yes” and “No” faith is deeply involved and our Lord shows up, because He is really needed.
A life in missions, even for just 2 years, is a precious gift that a man can give to God, that a husband can give to his wife, that a father can give to his children. It is one that will have eternal dividends!