“God made you great. Stay great.”
Mark Link SJ
Thomas was asked to do what the other disciples didn’t have to do. He had to believe sight unseen. Thomas might be the easiest apostle to relate to because many of us have experienced what it is like to live between faith and doubt. Almost everyone experiences some kind of doubt at some point in their faith journey. It’s part of the faith journey.
Faith is often seen as the opposite of doubt, but that is inaccurate. The opposite of faith is certainty; there is no room for faith where there is certainty.
Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith. Doubt forces us to rely on God because we don’t have it all figured out.
In the ninth chapter of Mark’s Gospel, there is the story of a distraught father whose young son is possessed by an evil spirit. The boy's father has asked Jesus to heal his son, and Jesus told him to have faith, and his son would recover. Like the rest of us, the poor fellow had his doubts, so he said, “I’ll do my best, but while you’re attending to my son, please cure my unbelief.” The boy was cured; the father’s faith was strengthened by Jesus, who reminded him, “Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
The most excellent cure for doubt is a good prayer life that includes scripture reading. Ponder God’s word. Let it speak to you and use it to speak to God. Pray to God in the words of the psalms. Enter into the Gospel stories, try to imagine yourself in the reading. Visualize yourself as the person whom you see Jesus healing. Feel his hands rest upon you; hear his words as if they were spoken to you. Don’t read them as you read the morning paper but listen to them as part of your morning prayer. From my experience doing this, I can promise you that God will touch your heart and strengthen your faith.
The Saint Brigid Parish Stations of the Cross are Amazing
The cross was the darkest hour in history
yet it was the time of greatest light.
It was the most tragic event in the history of the world,
yet the most wonderful thing that ever happened.
It was the saddest spectacle man ever beheld,
yet it was the most stunning defeat Satan ever suffered
and the most glorious victory Christ ever won.
He won by losing.
He conquered by surrendering.
We see man's hatred for Christ in the cross,
yet we see Christ's love for man.
There we see human vengeance as the crowds cried for His blood,
yet we see divine forgiveness as Jesus prayed,
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
The cross portrays man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness;
human weakness and divine strength.
It demonstrates man's inability to save himself
and God's ability and power to do this for him.
The cross, from the human standpoint, is foolishness;
yet it is a revelation of the highest wisdom of God.
St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that "for the Jewish people the cross is a scandal
and for the Greeks (Gentiles) the cross is foolishness, but to those on the way of salvation --
Jew and Gentile alike -- Christ the power and wisdom of God!"
As we begin Lent, our 40-day season of prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving in preparation for the celebration of Easter, I would suggest we offer our sacrifices and prayers for the people of Ukraine. We watch in horror as peaceful communities are turned into arenas of violence, families are separated, and young men young fathers pick up weapons. We see missiles destroy places of refuge and safety, and lives are abused, wounded, and lost, including innocent children. Millions must flee their homes with just the clothes they can carry. We all want to do something to help! And we can! As we begin our Lenten traditions, let all of us remember that prayer is powerful. Pray for peace! Pray for Ukraine. Ask God to pierce Putin’s heart.O God, author and giver of peace,