Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time
Walking on water, passing through fire
Intellectual knowledge does not free us from fear. But those who walk in faith are wholly free. Such as these, as true children of God, can make free use of each thing. Those who are smitten with love for this faith make use of all the elements of creation as God does himself. For faith has the power to make a new creature after God’s likeness…
Intellectual knowledge cannot do anything without a material foundation; it doesn’t have the courage to carry out what it has not been given to nature to do. The body is unable to walk on the surface of water; those who draw near fire are burnt. Consequently mere understanding is set on its guard and never allows itself to go beyond its natural limits. But faith has the power to go even further and declares: “When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, I will be with you; and the waters will not swallow you up” (Is 43:2 alt.). Faith often carries out such things in the sight of all creation. If it had been given to the mind to attempt to do the same things, it would never have dared.
Many have entered the flames through faith…, they have passed through fire whole and sound and walked on the sea as though on dry land. All these things were above nature and contrary to the ways of mere intellectual knowledge. They demonstrated how empty this latter was in all its ways and laws. Do you see how the mind observes the conditions set by nature? And do you see how faith goes its own way as it proceeds at a higher level than nature?