As pumpkin spice and beautiful fall leaves swirl the air, I’m reminded it’s a time of change. My wardrobe shifts into long pants, close-toed shoes, and long sleeve tops. My faith, my constant, does not change because it is ever-present.
I think it’s wise to have a checklist to deepen one’s faith:
Read the Bible ✓
Pray the rosary ✓
Attend daily Mass ✓
Still more people firmly believe there are other ways to deepen one’s faith:
Embrace the fact you are not in control;
Avoid gloating, even if it is easy to gloat;
Hang out with faith-filled friends.
But, the reality is that faith only grows when charity grows. We are called to help those in need and the downtrodden.
What is a sure-fire way to deepen your faith? Volunteer! After all, it bears repeating, faith grows when charity grows.
This was lost on me as a young career gal and newly married. I’d like to thank the USAF for deepening my faith but what really happened is that without a job, I found my people through volunteering. I will tell you this took a while (about 3 PCSes and 2 kids) to learn that there is value in volunteering. I will not waste your time with how much I thought I could not survive without my teacher salary in 1990, but trust me, it was a thought.
My faith started growing when I had a little tug on my heart to volunteer at the pregnancy crisis center in FL. I managed to find myself in helping others and that’s when my God-given faith was reborn.
Later on in our Air Force journey, I took pride in helping my students make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for the homeless shelter. When we bagged them up, washed our hands and went home, I realized the impact was lost. I begged for support from the principal to get permission for my students (& my own children) to take the sandwiches to the homeless shelter and pass them out to people that needed the sandwiches, our smiles, and our genuine conversations. That was impactful and that’s how not only my faith began to deepen, but I watched as the faith of my children and students deepened as well.
Volunteer and encourage others to volunteer because this will help deepen your faith and it will help others learn that while careers with high-paying salaries are useful, it is also fruitful to serve those in need because the dividends are ever-lasting.
Catholic Women of the Chapel groups afford women the opportunity to not only serve as “A Visible Presence of Christ,” but also encourage us to find fun in the service of others. For example, some chapel groups make it a point as the weather turns cooler to collect gently-used coats, gloves and hats for the local shelters. Many groups host “Baby Jesus Baby Showers,” around the Advent season, focusing on collecting pregnancy supplies for local pregnancy support centers. Other groups come together with smiles, laughter, and stories to fill “Blessing Bags,” for members to hand out to the homeless they may encounter. Really, the options are endless, as we see the needs of others so great.
Finally, gratitude is another way to deepen our faith, and this applies to everything in our daily lives: children, pets, older parents, and the smallest of things like a passed-down recipe found unexpectedly.
Between volunteering to serve and gratitude, we find the perfect recipe for deepening our faith.
Director of Finance