by Cyril of Jerusalem,
The power of faith is
enormous. It is so great that it not only
saves the believer: thanks to one person's
faith others are saved also.
The paralytic at Capernaum did
not have faith. But the men who brought
him to Jesus and let him down through the
roof had it. The soul of the sick man was
ill as well as his body. That is made
clear in the Gospel: "And when Jesus saw
their faith he said..., 'Rise, take up
your pallet and go home'". The Gospel does
not speak of "his" faith but of "their"
faith. The stretcher-bearers believed and
the paralytic had the benefit of being
healed because of it. (Mark 2:1-11)
Then there is the death of
Lazarus. Four days had passed. His dead
body was already decomposing. How could
one who had been dead for so many days
believe and himself ask for the Deliverer?
He could not possibly do so, but his
sisters provided the faith for him. When
they met the Lord, one sister fell down at
his feet. He asked, "Where have you
laid him?" The other sister said:
"Lord, by this time there will be a bad
smell". Then the Lord said, "If you
believe you will see the glory of
God". As if to say, "As regards
faith, you must take the place of the dead
man". And the faith of the sisters
succeeded in calling Lazarus back from the
hereafter. (John 11:1-44).
So if these two women by
believing in place of the other were able
to secure his resurrection, how much more
certainly will you be able to secure it
for yourself by your own faith in
Perhaps your own faith
is feeble. Nevertheless, the Lord who is
love will stoop down to you, provided only
you are penitent and can say sincerely
from the depths of your soul: "Lord, I
believe. Help my unbelief". (Mark 9:23).
Excerpt from Catecheses,
If You Believe,
He Who Welcomed the Thief Will
Welcome You Also
Cyril of Jerusalem, 315-386
is the assent of the soul to a truth. If
you want to know what advantage the soul
gains from it, listen to what the Lord
'Whoever hears my word and
believes him who sent me, has eternal
life; he does not come into judgment,
but has passed from death to life.'
How truly great is the goodness of God to
the human race!
The righteous in ancient times, in order
to find favour with God, had to struggle
for many years. They achieved it after
having served God for long and with heroic
efforts; Jesus grants it to us in an
It is true. If you believe that Jesus
Christ is Lord and that God has raised him
from the dead, you will be saved. Jesus on
the cross on Calvary welcomed the thief to
Paradise. He will welcome you also.
from Catecheses, 5, 8ff.
increase faith is to strengthen
it by the Holy Spirit
of Alexandria (376-444
"They ask, 'Add faith to
us.' They do not ask simply for faith,
for perhaps you might imagine them to
be without faith. They rather ask
Christ for an addition to their faith
and to be strengthened in faith.
Faith partly depends on us and partly
is the gift of the divine grace. The
beginning of faith depends on us and
our maintaining confidence and faith
in God with all our power. The
confirmation and strength necessary
for this comes from the divine grace.
For that reason, since all things are
possible with God, the Lord says that
all things are possible for him who
believes (Mark 9:23).
The power that comes to us through
faith is of God. Knowing this, blessed
Paul also says in the first epistle to
the Corinthians, 'For to one is given
through the Spirit the word of wisdom,
to another the word of knowledge
according to the same Spirit, and to
another faith in the same Spirit' (1
Corinthians 12:8). You see that he has
placed faith also in the catalog of
spiritual graces. The disciples
requested that they might receive this
from the Savior, contributing also
what was of themselves. By the descent
upon them of the Holy Spirit, he
granted it to them after the
fulfillment of the dispensation.
Before the resurrection, their faith
was so feeble that they were liable
even to the charge of being 'little of
Excerpt from COMMENTARY
ON LUKE, HOMILIES 113-16
Prove your Faith by Your Trust
of Milan (337-397
'Look at the birds of the
air,' says Jesus. [Luke 12:24] What a
splendid example for our faith to follow!
If God's providence bestows an unfailing
supply of food on the birds of the air who
neither sow nor reap,
we ought to realize that the reason for
people's supply running short is human
The fruits of the earth were given to feed
all without distinction and nobody can
claim any particular rights. Instead, we
have lost the sense of the communion of
goods, rushing to turn these goods into
The birds do not know famine because they
do not claim anything specially for
themselves and neither do they have any
envy of others.
'Consider the lilies of the field: not
even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed
like one of these. If God so
clothes the grass which is alive today and
tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much
more will he clothe one of you!' Listen to
these stupendous and uplifting words.
With this parable of flowers and grass the
Lord urges us to hope that God will also
be merciful to us.
Nothing is more persuasive than a glance
at unthinking creatures who have received
such beautiful dress from providence.
Surely we should be all the more ready to
believe that human beings, if they entrust
themselves completely to God and free
themselves of all their worries, will not
from On the Gospel of St
Luke, 7, I24ff.
[English translations by Paul
Drake, quoted in
Drinking from the Hidden
Fountain: A Patristic Breviary,