Faith is not really Faith until it is tested – until then, the danger is that it is mere habit; sometimes it is only when Faith is tested in a crucible of fire that it really comes into it’s own, and we begin to properly appreciate it’s true worth. This is the case for each of us individually and for all of us collectively, both as the human family and as the family of God, the Church.
At times in the life of the Church, things can seem unstable. I say ‘seem’ because this is not really the reality of the situation – the Church is in very good hands, it has the protection of the Holy Spirit and the promise of the Lord. We may not always understand what the Lord is doing and what His plan for the Church is – but we need to trust in Him. He is in control. He always was, and He always will be. Our vision generally extends no further than the present moment, while the Lord sees all things.
In recent days, there has been much discussion on words attributed to our Holy Father, Pope Francis; there has also been much acrimony and debate regarding those words. And at times, there have been very public calls to ‘correct’ the Pope and to demand ‘clarification’. Such calls came with great speed from various quarters; from lay people, from Priests, from Bishops and from Cardinals. And while those calls were sometimes the fruits of genuine confusion or anxiety, this was not always the case. Along with them, came the very real danger of division, disunity within the Church, a loss of simple Christian charity, and the entrance of the demon of spiritual pride. Whether intended or not, these provided moments where the unity of the Church was threatened, there was a risk of real spiritual damage, and the message we – as Catholics – gave to the whole world, was anything but Christian.
At times, those calls issued from human emotion. When we act on emotion, it is not always the best basis upon which to form a question or to make a request. Emotion is often about our perception of our personal ‘rights’, for it is this that prompts such demands on many occasions; and on those occasions, we can forget that with rights come responsibilities. Emotion can reflect – and even accentuate – our woundedness; and in our woundedness we sometimes misperceive things and see shadows where none exist, or we can become excessivly troubled where shadows do exist.
Sometimes, we need to stop and pause for a moment and – above all else – to consider things in the light of prayer, that light which our Faith shines upon us.
Prayer reminds us that it is indeed the Lord Who is in contol and Who is guiding the path of the Church and of the entire world, whether or not we understand what is taking place. Our prayer may also remind us that in our woundedness, our brokenness – whether individual or collective – we are loved by the Lord, Who holds all of us in the palm of His hand. Prayer reminds us that we are called to a life of Faith in Him. Remember how the Apostles – even Peter, the Rock – cried out at the prospect of the Lord being crucified; rebuking them, the Lord reminded them that this was His plan, not theirs.
So it has been many times since then, and so it will be on many future occasions. And at every such moment, we need to TRUST in the Lord.
The Divine Mercy devotion has at it’s heart the words “Jesus, I TRUST in You”.
Let us, then, do what this devotion calls us to do – let us TRUST the Lord.
Rather than engaging in any words or deeds or emotions that seek – unwittingly or otherwise – to divide, let us keep silence and hold fast to our Faith in the Lord and in His Church, and take everything to the Lord in prayer.
These are perfect moments in which to pray the great prayer of TRUST – the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. In doing so, let us contribute to light and to unity, rather than to darkness and to division.
And may the Lord, Who is Mercy and Love, hear our prayers.