"It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith." Romans 4:13, 16-18
I see a tree in my back yard and I know that it is there. But this is not faith, but factual, and experiential knowledge. I know that God exists. But this is merely putting my little toe on the lowest rung of the ladder of the multi-rung reality which is true, living faith. For Satan knows that Jesus is God--but no one in their right mind would confuse this 'knowledge' with authentic Christian faith. Therefore, Christian faith is, truly, much more than mere intellectual acknowledgment. It is, rather, an intimate knowing, a relationship, a friendship and hopefully, eventually, a nuptial marriage, based on undeserved Love received, which fills our heart with hope of more to come...especially when we are called to carry our cross.
"For he remembered his holy word to his servant Abraham. And he led forth his people with joy; with shouts of joy, his chosen ones." Psalm 105:6-7, 8-9, 42-43
Catholic-Christian faith is intimately tied with the grace which Christ's Church offers in Scripture, Tradition, Liturgy and Sacraments. For grace is the source of faith as God inspires us in all things which bring us back to Him in Love. Free will is certainly part of this, as grace is powerfully effective in transforming a sinner to a saint; yet, grace is respectful of the free human response, and our finite little 'no' can even thwart the Merciful advances of the Almighty. But the Good News is that our Merciful God never quits on His Prodigal renegades. Centuries of Israelite decadence attest to this. Decades of American Catholic decadence solidifies this reality. Years of personal sin should convict us thoroughly.
"When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” Luke 12:8-12
A time (in the near future) will come, for many of us, when we will have to choose between our Catholic faith (the real one!--not the cafeteria kind) and the rules and 'laws' of the Obama administration concerning taxes and contraceptive/abortive chemical agents. Who knows? As Obamacare unravels--in a dysfunctional manner--more 'surprises' against our faith may be revealed. True faith will reveal itself as the prompting of the Holy Spirit to speak the 'truth to power' when the time comes. This is true since it will find its Living Source in right relationship with the Eucharistic and Paschal Lord of our redemption. For those of living faith, redemption is assured in the Living God. But faith built upon mere intellectual constructs, and flimsy adherence due to servitude to progressive ideology, will surely wilt to the popular, political pressure. This, my friend, is not a recipe for redemptive confidence, since faith in a self-constructed God is mere fantasy. And fantasy never saves!
So, the time is now to repent, receive, believe, ask-seek-knock in prayer, and make 'straight' the Way of the Lord--in Loving relationship with the Real and Truly Present Savior--before it's too late.