Faith in Action

James 2:14 (NRSV)
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
– Leonardo Da Vinci

Eugene Peterson tells the story of three apprentice devils who were being sent by Satan to their tour of duty on earth. Before they left, they reported to Satan what they intended to do.
* The first said he would tell people there is no God.
* The second said he would tell people there is no hell.
* The third took a different approach. “I will tell them,” he said, “that there is no hurry.”
Satan told the third devil, “Go, tell them that, and you’ll ruin them by the millions.”
– retold by Steve Harper in his blog post Benedict’s Rule: Motivation

Any social-change hero succeeds in doing three fundamental things:
raising awareness, creating impact, and transforming the heart.
– from a talk Nipun Mehta delivered at the United Nations on Feb 15, 2012. Nipun is the founder of, which works at the intersection of technology, gift-economy and volunteerism.

Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and go out and do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
-Howard Thurman

John 14:12 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Adoration, as it more deeply possesses us, inevitably leads on to self-offering. Charity is the live wire along which the power of God, indwelling our finite spirits, can and does act on other souls and other things, rescuing, healing, giving support and light. Such secret intercessory prayer ought to penetrate and accompany all our active work. It is the supreme expression of the spiritual life on earth. – Evelyn Underhill

We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way. Many who may seem to us to be children of the Devil will still become Christ’s disciples. – Francis of Assisi

I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, “Now is that political or social?” He said, “I feed you.” Because the good news to a hungry person is bread. – Desmond Tutu

Life Himself came down to be slain
Bread came down to suffer hunger
The Way came down to endure weariness on His journey
The Fountain came down to experience thirst.
Do you, then, refuse to work and to suffer?

The following prayer is often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi,
but that cannot be confirmed.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.

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