“Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas exhorts us in his prayer to seek God with our whole being. To ask for it relentlessly and to persevere. It is with this desire we most certainly can experience God in our everyday existence. Each moment is a new moment to be alive – and free from whatever binds us. Dearest Jesus, grant us this most precious prayer!
“May I be no one’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides.” – St. Eusebius
Do I seek to be a friend to all? As a person of faith, what is my role in creating love for all? These are mportant questions for each of us. I know what I must actively seek to put away my feelings that are not generous to all. When feelings arise, do I examine them? Can I move beyond hurts? It is my prayer – like St. Eusebius – that I may be no one’s enemy.
Discipleship has a cost. Jesus paid it. We must also. But, what is that cost? For each, it is different but I believe it has similarities. Jesus calls us forward in love to serve others. We must be for others. It involves staying close to Jesus. Keeping our eyes fixed on Him is so very important. It usually means some sacrifice to our own agenda. These costs are real, but not without reward. We are accompanied by Our Lord on this journey. The reward is His presence now – and forever. A price we must pay – yes. Also, a reward of immense value!
Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) was one of the great mystics of the early 20th Century. She said at a retreat address (published posthumously), “Most of us are bitterly conscious of the extent in which we are at the mercy of our surroundings, which grow ever more and more insistent in their pressure, their demands on our attention and time; less and less suggestive of reality, of God. Our prayers become more and more like supernatural shopping lists, less like the conversations between one friend and another which is the ideal of Thomas a Kempis. So we gradually forget what interior silence is like, and seldom enter the interior world.” We need to as Catholic Christians find our “interior silence” and find our Triune Lord there!
Each day is an opportunity to grow in my faith. It is also an opportunity to choose not to grow. In fact, I could spend it in fear or distraction. Faith is a belief in what is unseen and unproven. Love is the action we show when we do believe and it guides our lives. We can turn to Jesus and His saints and mystics to see how to do this. There are glorious options to examine, pray to and follow – if we choose to. May we all do so.
Jesus returned to his hometown but was limited in His ability to heal. Why? They could not see past His humble beginnings amoungst them. He was from them so they missed His message and ministry. How sad that is. Do I miss the opportunity by not believing in the miracles possible from our Triune Lord? If I believed, would I see the miracles before me? I think I would. May the Lord strength my belief and the belief of others in the power of God amongst us.
Faith is primarily caught – and not taught. We certainly can learn about faith and all of its dogma and doctrine. We can hear its precepts and learn its prayers. However, the faith that goes deep is one of how we live and be in relationship with others. Here is where the virtues of love, patience, kindness and compassion are the heart of a lived faith. My parents and family and friends passed this type of faith down to me. I am forever grateful for their lived example.