Christians must also not just know the faith, but have faith themselves and trust in God even though life may seem tumultuous, Sr. Constance continued.
"This quiet, yet firm, trust is what will enable us to overcome our natural timidity, our discouragement, or even our just anger in the face of a dominant culture that disrespects our most strongly-held convictions."
This was the faith and trust of the foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Jeanne Jugan, she said, and the sisters still trust in God despite an ongoing lawsuit with the federal government that threatens them with heavy fines if they lose the case.
"When journalists ask me what we will do if we eventually lose our case, I always think of our foundress' confidence in Providence, and I tell them that we have no contingency plan, because like her, we believe that God will never abandon us," she said.
In his address, Speaker Ryan also discussed the importance of faith, focusing on the consequences of lacking that faith in the modern world.
"There is a growing need for faith in this nation," he insisted, pointing to the "epidemic" of opioid abuse in the U.S. as an example. Over 29,000 people died from overdosing on prescription opioids and heroin in 2014, according to the Center for Disease Control, and millions currently abuse opioid pain relievers or heroin.
Having met with people suffering from addiction, Ryan noted that "they feel a deep, gnawing pain inside, and the reason they turn to drugs is to escape that gnawing pain."
"That pain stems from a loneliness," he added, but "it wasn't until you meet a person face to face that you realize that we all feel loneliness at some level. We all feel that distance from God. What is sin but a turning away from Him?"
"It is not enough," Ryan said, for legislators to come up with economic policies that help the poor and those with addictions, "though we should do that too." Rather, he stressed, "there is a spiritual void that needs to be filled."
"When you meet people who have beaten addiction, most of them say something like this: 'It wasn't me. It was God,'" he said.
"They know the true source of their success. In their struggles, they have come to know Him. And they have come to find happiness."
(Story continues below)
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