The Hidden God and the Light of Faith

Imagine you've been fired from your job, your home and savings have been confiscated, people you've helped have turned against you...

 Min read
May 30, 2024
“Faith is the proof of things not seen”-Heb 11:1


• You’ve been fired from your job

• Your home and savings have been confiscated

• People you’ve helped have turned against you

• You’re in jail awaiting trial and probably a death sentence

• You can’t talk to anyone: friends, family, even your guards

• All because you were falsely accused by notorious liars

• And your judge will not listen to your arguments of innocence.

What would you feel? Betrayal? Rejection? Loneliness? Confusion? Anger? Self-pity? How tempting would it be to think: “Why is this happening to me? God isn’t with me. He doesn’t care about me. If He did, He’d never let this happen.” But He did. Why?

Principles of Faith

Evil is a mystery, the mysterium iniquitatis. The entirety of the Christian faith is an answer to the question of evil. However, there are a few key principles that can help us on our journey:

1. God the Creator is always working. Always.

2. His work is for our happiness, our good, our holiness (cf. Rm 8:28).

3. Therefore, the Present Moment has been perfectly crafted by Infinite Wisdom and Goodness to turn you into a saint.

This is easy to see when things are going beautifully: when we fall in love with our future spouse, when we hold our baby for the first time, while we watch a sunset. But what about those other times?

The Hidden God

“No one has ever seen God,” says John in his Gospel prologue (1:18). He can be known through His works, but His ways are not our ways. Sometimes, God our King comes disguised as a baby, the son of a carpenter, a mendicant preacher, a criminal sentenced to death, a gardener. Sometimes, the medicine He offers us tastes like poison, the banquet he lays out for us looks like an empty table, the fresh air He surrounds us with smells like toxic fumes, the freedom He offers constrains us like an inescapable trap. When our senses and reason are telling us we’re dying, what are we supposed to do?

Questions Are the Answer

When it comes to the nitty-gritty of our lives, faith does not give us the answers. Faith gives us the light to seek the answers. And we’ve been commanded by our Lord to do so: “Seek and you will find.” It’s on us to seek the good in a “bad” situation. Because God dreams of making us saints, He will do whatever it takes to make us the way He wants. AND, He’s going to call us to participate in His dream for us. Our job is to find the King dressed like a Beggar. To see through the scary masks and hideous disguises to the reality of God’s Work in our lives, His “divine providence.”

We seek when we turn to God in prayer and ask Him real questions:

• Lord, who can do more than I can ask or even imagine; what are you giving me right now?

• Master, what are you teaching me right now?

• Good Shepherd, where are you leading me right now?

• Lord, who are you calling me to be right now? (Hint: Saint “your name here”)

These questions feel crazy. They feel wrong. The temptation is to listen to our own minds say “Nothing. Nowhere. No one.” Don’t buy into that. Go into your inner sanctuary and speak with the Lord Himself. Remember, God’s providence is happening for you, not to you. It’s happening for your holiness though, not for your hedonistic pleasure or so you can stay in your comfort zone.

Starting Out

There are 3 ways, you can practice the virtue of faith today:

1. If you’re in a pickle right now, ask God these 4 questions and listen for His answer. Begin a conversation with Him, even if it’s a bit like an argument.

2. If things are pretty good right now, think back to one of your worst moments. What did God give you or teach you in that? Where did He lead you? Thanks to that tough time, who or what is in your life now? How are you a better person because of the struggles you’ve been through? Maybe take a minute to write down some of your answers on The Light of Faith Worksheet and think about the good brought out of that bad situation. But don’t do it more than once; you might accidentally develop a habit.

3. This last one is only for the most courageous. Look outside yourself. Who do you know is going through a tough time right now? As a friend, what if you stepped out of your comfort zone and encouraged them to ask God these 4 “crazy” questions?

PS. The scenario in the introduction really did happen to St. Boethius. As a result of his unjust incarceration, he wrote a masterpiece entitled The Consolations of Philosophy, a staple of Great Books programs throughout the West. If you’ve never read it before, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

James Lee