Faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that are unseen.” (Heb 11:1).
This is not the dictionary definition of faith, but an inspired one from the Holy Spirit, who inspires the Scriptures. This Faith is a gift from God himself – the first of the three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Love) – given to us through grace.
Our Lord has revealed to His Church that the ordinary means of obtaining grace is through the Sacraments!
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called ‘sacraments of faith.’“
We are given the initial bud of grace, Divine Life, when we are baptized. And this is when our parents make the ultimate act of Faith for us.
As we grow older, we have the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion to keep this Divine Life within us growing – and it is in this Divine Life that we continue to have Faith. And finally, the Sacrament of Marriage then strengthens this further. Marriage itself is the sign of God’s relationship with His Church, as St. Paul counsels the Ephesians when he says, “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25).” The family, stemming from Marriage, is a reflection of the Trinity, creating life through love. The family is evidence of the Triune God, who “is not seen” – except, of course, through Jesus, who is THE Sacrament Himself: “When you see me, you see the Father” (Jn. 14:9).
Marriage and the family then are very sacred entities, because as we live Sacramental lives, we may indeed give others a glimpse of what Faith is. We give others “evidence” of something unseen. We become the “substance of things hoped for” for others.
It is for this reason that we must always fight to defend Marriage, to defend the family. And the best way to do this is by imitating the Saints.
May we, through the veneration of the Saints of the past, inspire Saints of the future.