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[Rev. P. Gavan Duffy in The Homiletic Review]

It needs no pointing out that we sorely and sadly lack the experience of faith in our modern corporate and individual religious life, and lacking the experience, we are of necessity without its understanding and apprehend only in some small measure its almost unlimited potentialities. The evidence for this statement abounds in the religious world. We have only to recall the pitiable dependency of corporate Christianity upon money as the basis of operations, our helpless attitude in the face of disease which baffles medical skill, and the suffering and injustice, the misery and wretchedness, that grow out of our social and economic conditions, to find that it is our deathly inactivity which has led countless men to dissociate themselves from the Christian organism as in their regard the first essential step both for ultimate reform and the constructing of programs for remedial measures. The truth is, we are so powerless because we cannot tell of, or apply to the world, the powers of faith which are outside our own experience.

No wonder we are mystified when the words fall upon our ears, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do." It is when we recalls the facts of our spiritual condition as they really are, that we cease to marvel when, hearing the words, "Whatesoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you," we realize that the theologians and preachers in demand are those we send into our pulpits with the very latest "thought-out" reasons which are to explain the failure of prayer to the hearts of the listeners—as unconscious as the instructors of the existence of their doubt. It is no longer surprising that when we speak of the "means" for the prosecution of a spiritual campaign, we understand, not the spiritual means, but the wherewithal of mammon. Entrenched as we are with modern tradition as to the "how" of work, unthinkingly convinced that without a well-filled treasury achievement is impossible, we have cut away as a calamity the most salient feature in what makes venture possible, viz., absence of material riches. Yet the day will come, nay, the dawn is at hand, when faith will come into her own again, and our Lord's words, finding meaning in experience, will cease to be dishonored.

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April 11, 1914

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