Volume IV - Spirituality

The Virtues

Faithfulness

According to the scriptures, one of the main characteristics of God is His absolute faithfulness. This virtue in man is also considered to be one of the “fruits of the Holy Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22)

To be faithful means to be absolutely true to one’s word, to be totally loyal in one’s devotion, to be completely steadfast and unswerving in one’s own calling and vocation. It also means to remain in humble service, in truth and in love, no matter what the conditions or consequences. To be faithful means to be courageous and to be and to do that which one must be and do by God’s will, regardless of any rejection by others and in spite of any lack of recognition or appreciation. God Himself is perfectly faithful. He has made promises and declared covenants, keeping His word no matter what man does. When men are adulterous and faithless, God remains faithful (Cf. Jeremiah 3, Ezekiel 16); for “the Lord has sworn and will not change His mind.” (Psalms 110:4, Hebrews 7:21)

... if we deny Him, He will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:12-13)

Christ is faithful to His Father and to His creatures until the end. He does not swerve from His mission but accomplishes all that God the Father has given Him to do. (Cf. John 17:4) According to the book of Revelation, the name of Jesus, the Word of God, is “Faithful and True”; He is called “the faithful witness” by Saint John. (Revelation 19:11, 1:5)

The spiritual person is the one who is faithful to his calling, fulfilling every good resolution, and bearing fruit patiently with the gifts and talents given by God. The spiritual person is faithful in every little thing - every thought, every word, every deed -”according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him” (Romans 12:3), “according to the measure of Christ’s gift” which is “given to each.” (Ephesians 4:7) Such faithfulness is the main teaching in Christ’s parable of the talents. The one who faithfully and without fear develops and grows with that which the Lord has provided is the one who hears the voice of the Master.

Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little - faithful in a very little (Luke 19-27); 1 will set you over much, enter into the joy of your master. (Matthew 25.-21)

The main enemies of faithfulness to God and man are pride, covetousness, cowardice, envy and the refusal to serve humbly where one is, with the conditions and gifts which God has provided. Faithlessness is born when one “thinks of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3), fears that he cannot do with what God has given, covets his neighbors’ talents and gifts, and moves from place to place seeking to be satisfied and filled by the things of this world.

Faithfulness is characterized by stability of body and soul; the utter refusal to move or be moved for any unworthy reason; the complete dedication to what God gives one to do, with the faith, grace and strength that God gives to do it. As it is written in the sayings of the fathers of the desert: “As a tree cannot bear fruit if it is often transplanted, no more can a monk (or any person) that is often changing his mind and moving from place to place.” The only way to receive the “crown of life” is to be “faithful until death” in the place where God has put us. (Revelation 2:10) The only way to find joy, wisdom and peace is to be faithful to one’s own uniqueness, knowing that each person has his own specific life and vocation from God which no one else has; his own specific mission which no one else can perform.

The spiritual person develops his own life in faithfulness, without envy or fear, and so accomplishes and becomes that which God has willed for him before the dawn of creation.