You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. // James 2:19
How many times as a Catholic woman I have heard the phrase today from Saint James, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). I know in my bones that James is right; I have lived this experience year after year in my journey with the Lord. He is reminding us of the importance of the integration of our faith and our works: what we say and what we do.
But today, what strikes my heart is his bold yet simple warning that although one may believe in God, he ought to remember that the demons also believe.
That sounds like a controversial statement, perhaps. Yet, James’ passage can be summed up in this: what you believe and what you do must align as a Christian. A faith that is barren, without works, without a lived reality following up a profession of faith, results in us Christians being no better than the demons. Ouch! Anyone got a cooling cream for that burn?
In the early years of my conversion, I struggled to align my heart and my actions. I went back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation bringing the same bag of sins to the confessional. I prayed for patience, but my actions proved differently. I prayed for chastity of body and heart, but my actions showed otherwise. Even still, there are situations and days where my faith and my works do not align. I say that I trust Jesus with everything, only to jump on the worry-boat all over again. I say that I want to bring others to know the great love of God, yet my tongue gets tied, and I grow silent in front of strangers or even long-time friends.
So what marks the difference between Christians who believe in God and the demons who also believe? The actions that accompany our declaration of faith are what determine the validity and the authenticity of that belief. May we strive with holy perseverance, sister, to rid ourselves of duplicity that we may begin to truly live what we believe, even if it’s one day at a time.Strive with holy perseverance. // Rocio Hermes Click To Tweet