Challenges of Faith

Challenges of Faith

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, the author of several books on spirituality and president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, also writes a column syndicated in many diocesan newspapers (

I remember one of his columns last year identified 10 major challenges to faith today. The first five are maintaining a vital sense of God within a secular culture, being a peacemaker within highly polarized communities, being men and women of true compassion, living our sexuality responsibly and without undue frigidity, and preserving interiority in a culture that devalues depth and solitude.

The other challenges are coping in a healthy way with both affirmation and rejection, keeping our need for clarity and security from trumping compassion and truth, finding soul mates, living the Gospel in daily life, and finding a healthy balance between individuality and community. Although our lists might differ from Father Rolheiser’s, we should probably ask: Are we praying through our challenges of faith enough?

Are we growing in faith? Wasn’t that what Mary was doing in the “pondering” that St. Luke praises so highly in his Gospel (2:19 and 2:51)?

Photo: Mykola Velychko/PhotoXpress


About the Author

Pat McCloskey, O.F.M., is the Franciscan editor of St. Anthony Messenger. He also serves as the editor of Franciscan Media's popular Weekday Homily Helps.