THE POWER OF FAITH
1. And when they were come to the multitude, there came to Him a certain man, kneeling down to Him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for of times he falleth into the fire, and oftimes into the water. And I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, 0 faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief For verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto the mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew, 17:14-20).
2. In one sense it is certain that confidence in one's own strength gives Man the capacity to carry out material things which he would not be able to do if he doubted himself. However, here we wish to deal exclusively with the moral sense of these words. The mountains which faith can transport are the difficulties, the resistances, the ill will, in fact all those things which Man has to face, even when we refer to good things. The prejudices, routines, materialistic interests, selfishness, the blindness of fanaticism and the prideful passions are but a few of the mountains which block the way of those who work for human progress. Robust faith gives perseverance, energy and resources which allow us to overcome these obstacles, be they large or small. From wavering faith results only uncertainty and the kind of hesitation which those adversaries we need to combat take advantage of; this faith does not even try to find the means to win because it does not believe it can.
3. Another acceptance of the term gives us to understand that faith is the confidence we have in the realization of something, and the certainty of attaining a specific end. It gives us a kind of lucidness which permits us to see, in thought, the goal we wish to reach and the means of getting there, so that those who have faith go forward, in a manner of speaking, with absolute security. In either one of these cases, it can give place to the realization of great things.
Faith which is real and sincere is always calm; it permits patience which knows how to wait, because having its foundation in intelligence and the understanding of life, it is certain of reaching the objective it aspires to. Vacillating faith feels its own weakness; when its interest is aroused it becomes frenzied and thinks it can supply the force it lacks by using violence. Calmness during the struggle is always a sign of strength and confidence; whereas on the contrary violence denotes weakness and self-doubt.
4. It behoves us not to confuse faith with presumption. True faith is linked to humility; those who have it, deposit more confidence in God than in themselves, as they know they are but simple instruments of Divine Purpose and can do nothing without God. This is the reason why the good Spirits come to their aid. Presumption is less faith than pride, and pride is always punished sooner or later by the deceptions and frustrations inflicted upon it.
5. The power of faith can be demonstrated in a direct and special manner in magnetic action. Through the intermediary of faith, Man acts on the fluids, which are a universal agent, modifying their qualities and giving them in a manner of speaking, irresistible impulsion. From this it follows that whoever joins a normally great fluidic power to that of ardent faith can, solely by the strength of their willpower directed towards goodness, operate those singular phenomena of healing and other occurrences known in olden times as miracles, but which are nothing more than the consequences of a Law of Nature. This is the reason for Jesus saying to His apostles that if they did not cure it was because they had no faith.