As a brewmaster who loves his brew, I am trained to distinguish beer from other types. Beer styles more or less, can be discriminated from each other. Beer is meant for enjoyment and is in fact healthy when taken in moderation (yes, two bottles are healthier than none). We also train our consumers to chill the golden liquid (though there are dark beers too) before partaking of it, and avoid placing ice into the beer, as it waters down the taste (once it does, you lose the aromas and flavors each time it is savored). We take it seriously, as it means a threat to consistency of every bottle, can, or keg that gets out of the brewery. If one is very familiar with his favorite brew, he can easily distinguish whenever there is adulteration, or dilution with water. The consistency becomes different, and the quality changes.
One of the most difficult challenges posed in practicing our faith is consistency. We always fall into the trap of “watering” down our faith. We select what is convenient. Whenever the season reminds us to renew our faith, we are “in”, as we see others do the same. However, once the ordinary days of the year come, we are back to our “cold” selves. We then wait for Advent or the Lenten season, to be reminded again to come back into the faith. We have the tendency to be impatient because we think that it’s so difficult to be consistent.
This is the challenge for all of us in the practice of our faith — consistency. We need to be patient and to persevere. We also need to be humble. We console in the fact that, God is patient, always waiting for us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to forgive us. He knows our weaknesses and is always there to welcome us back. He is always faithful and “His mercy endures forever” (Ps. 136:1).
This past week we commemorated the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, the patron saint and protector of the Catholic Church. St. Joseph was never quoted in the Holy Bible but Sacred Tradition tells us he was a picture of humility and serenity. God the Father entrusted to him the two most important persons in history, Jesus and Mary. He lived a very humble, simple lifestyle and was obedient to the Father’s will. He accepted his role in the Divine plan of salvation without doubting. He was patient, faithful and persevered throughout his life.
Let us pray for the strength to persevere, to persist, and to be faithful in the practice of our faith. As Fr. Armand has said in his book, the Code of Champions,
“You will know a champion. People find him reliable. When he says he’ll be there for you, sleep tight, he’ll be there…persistence is one of his consistent traits. 364 out of 365 days a year are ordinary days, nothing big or unusual is happening, still he never lets his guard down.”