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The Eyes of Faith

Hans Urs von Balthasar references the idea of the Eyes of Faith from Pierre Rousselot. Below is a slightly adapted reflection on the Eyes of Faith from the Houston Catholic Worker, February 2, 1995.

Faith changes things, and hopefully, it changes us so that we can see with the Eyes of Faith.

With faith we have a new vision—a new person.

FOR OURSELVES: We can see beyond our selfish, immature, egotistical, oversensitive, frustrated, self-pitying, hypercritical, paranoid, greedy self to a new self, a new eucharistic self—if we have faith.

The Nazarene makes that possible. “He is risen and still with us.”

FOR OTHERS: With the new eyeglasses of faith, we see all of our sisters and brothers in the world differently and yes (?) even our family members and fellow workers.

With the eyeglasses of faith we see beyond selfishness, self-centeredness, greed, angry hatred in our brothers and sisters to the new person, again, arranged by the Nazarene.

Mark of Cain

With the eyes of faith we no longer see the mark of Cain on everyone’s forehead (of Cain who killed Abel and who responded to those looking for Abel—“Am I my brother’s keeper?”)

With the eyes of faith the mark of Cain is gone and there is a neon light flashing—maybe like those at cheap motels, saying, “You—yes, you—are your brother’s keeper.”

Well, not exactly, sad to say. Those neon lights are lousy and there are always letters and parts missing.

Frankly, to read the new sign takes a pretty thick set of glasses of faith—and we are always fogging up the faith glasses. Participation in the Mass can deepen our faith and clear away the fog.

Dorothy Day warned us that “love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing” and involves the cross—as opposed to love in dreams.

Faith and the Eucharist change our whole perspective and enable us to love anyone, no matter how ugly—even ourselves! Faith can help us to give of ourselves in small ways as Jesus gave himself on the cross.

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XLII, No. 3, July-September, 2022.