Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 27, 2011 | Comments (0)

Faith and Belief

The Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith”. Jesus replied, “If you had the faith the size of a mustard see, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'be uprooted and planted in the sea. and it would obey you." The Apostles were thinking about their belief and Jesus was speaking to their faith.

Faith to Jesus was the experience of the Presence of God. It has no boundaries. It is like light, It is either on or off. Belief can be either more or less. Religion is the combination of faith and belief. It is like a coin it has its own material and it has both heads and tails. Faith is the experience of our belief. Belief is the meaning of our faith. Faith without belief is just faith and it is meaningless. Belief without faith is just belief and it is irrelevant.
The Apostles were looking for more belief, to have better faith. They were standing in the Presence of God but not experiencing it. More belief would not do it. Their belief was hindering their faith by limiting it conditionally. If they had more belief, they would have more faith. Jesus points out if they had more faith, they would have more belief. The mulberry tree with its huge leafy branches was blotting out the light of faith. By being open to the Presence that was there with them, the bush of doubt would be easily cast away.

Some believe the experience of God's Presence depends on God. We get into God’s Presence when God feels like it. It only happens under certain circumstances, at certain times and in certain places. The truth is, the experience of God’s Presence is grace. It is inclusive and unconditional to everyone all the time. However, everyone is not in the Presence all the time. It is available any time, any place and under any conditions. It is not really hard to get in the experience of His Presence. We get in when we feel like it. Right now you could if you felt like it. If you do, right now begin to wonder how you would feel if you were out of the Presence and now, if you were in the Presence. How do you feel like it; "it" being experiencing His Presence. It takes both experience and belief.

God did not create the universe, says Hawking quoted in this article: LONDON (Reuters) – God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.

In "The Grand Design," co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," Hawking writes. "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost?"

God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this? Let's say we have a man-making contest." To which the scientist replied, "Okay, great!" But, God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam." The scientist said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt."

(God said to Hawking "No, no. no, you get your own gravity.")

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