We must make the effort to understand the motives of our faith. Why do we, why do I believe in Salvation? Without this effort (quality time for prayer, compassion, and learning about our faith) our faith remains only based on a basic fear. It is like a kind of Freudian fear for ‘being deprived of eternal life’. I would call it a kind of Freudian – selfish and primitive − fear. It is a version of the ‘castration-anxiety’. Here, however, one is afraid of being cut off from ‘life’. The person unconsciously, and narcissistically enough, simply does not want to die. We don’t want to lose our life. We don’t want to be dead. If we are honest with ourselves we can admit that we hardly ever think about ‘why do we believe’...
There is nothing wrong with this basic existential fear. It still keeps us praying and going to church.
However, and this is the importance of vigilant prayer (and compassionate charity), a hidden, but sure growth is induced by the extra effort put into them. We are assured by the existential experience of Scripture (and Sacraments) that our motive will be changed. From the basic ‘fear’ of a child or uncertain adult, we will arrive to joy as our motive to believe. Then we will say, I would like to be saved because I would like to build something really life giving with Jesus, our Risen Lord.
It is difficult to put into words, but the experience is waiting for us all when we say: we live in the company of Jesus. This is perhaps one of the best definition of both faith and its motive. To believe is to live and think in the company of Jesus. Simply, we are being caught up in his presence and friendship. Though unseen to the eye, he lives with us, he works with us, we work with him, we discuss things with him, and this communication is itself our life.Not a part of it, but a shared life. To put it simply: as if Jesus is in the other room, and he can enter any time.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..