Hello new and familiar peanut butter lovers,
I didn’t expect this post to be quite so long, but fingers crossed you’ll stick it out with me!
I think it’s only fitting that we start week 4 of our Living Prayerfully Series today…the eve of the Year of Faith. Have I completely lost you? You can read more about why the Pope has called for a Year of Faith here. I told my cousins about the coming year and they responded, “Isn’t every year a year of faith?”
Blessed JP2 used this term ‘culture of death’ to describe society today. Mother Teresa wrote about a ‘crisis of faith.’ Maybe to us cradle Catholics (a term for those raised Catholic), we do not see this ‘death’ or ‘crisis’ before us. We go about our lives. Jesus is there but He’s not necessarily real or present in every aspect of our life. Church is a regular part of our Sundays. So yes, isn’t every year a year of faith then?
If that is your life, then I think this year of faith is for us especially. We’ve grown so comfortable in the pews. Do we come to mass dying of thirst for the Lord?
That was the kind of faith the saints had. They couldn’t live without the Lord and they loved Him so much they were CONSUMED with the thought of how they could bring others into this same love. If that seems so crazy and wild to you, then that’s why this year of faith is for you. Sleeper, awake.
Pope Benedict writes in his letter about this upcoming year, “We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden.”
I was reading scripture this morning and just reveling in the miracles Jesus performed. I am amazed always at the faith people had in Him. They would say to Him, “Only say the word…and I will be healed,” “Let me touch your robe and…” I wonder, do we have this kind of faith that we believe wholeheartedly in a God who can actually heal our wounds? He restored vision and dead people back to life. Can he not restore your life, you who are alive?!
I wish I could shake you in your seat, wish I could shake myself into realizing how tasteless our faith has become.
Wherever you are right now, I want to challenge you to put down your work and get down on your knees with me and pray for this coming year, that we might witness first ourselves, then our Church, our family and friends come alive with renewed faith.
Pope Benedict in his letter calls for us to look back in history to the beginning of our faith. He starts with Mary.
Mary was barely a woman and was dating a stud named Joseph (yes, I just called Joseph a stud). She said yes to the Holy Spirit asking her to bring a child into the world. Think about your lives…can you imagine if an angel came to you one night and asked you to bear a child. Sorry, I’m preoccupied with my midterms right now.
Mary said YES. What if she hadn’t? I don’t know about you, but that is the kind of faith I want. Faith that changes history and gives birth (literally and metaphorically speaking) to MIRACLES.
So…without further ado, today’s Living Prayerfully series is about looking to Mary. You can pray with me right now, right here. If you haven’t prayed for a while, that’s okay. Let’s start together…
Mary, you were this young woman with your whole life before you. Mary, I come before you and just ask for that same faith you had. Help me to know Jesus is real and present in my life. Help me to see He has a plan and purpose for me no matter how terrifying life might be right now. Help me to just say YES in the quiet of my heart today to whatever the Lord is asking me to do. Help me to have the courage to live out that YES and help me to love Jesus as you did. You stayed with Him when He was crucified before you. Help me to stay with Him as you did even in the toughest parts of my day. Help me to have an increase of your faith in this year.
Some say holding the beads of a rosary is like holding Mary’s hand. As we move through each bead, we are being guided closer and closer to her son. We pray to Mary because Jesus loves her more than any woman in the world. If Mary brings Him our petitions, He just won’t deny her…and we pray to her because of her faith.
If you want, we can say the rosary together. It’s one of my favorite prayers because it’s so simple and maybe you’ve found the repetitiveness of it boring, but start it with me here and know that I’m praying for you…praying that as you repeat, “Hail Mary full of grace…” over and over, you get lost in just the pure beauty of repeating words of adoration. Offer up each decade for someone who needs you to pray for them today.
Your faith CAN move mountains…if you let it. Prayer is the most important and powerful way to start that journey back to faith. Happy New Year’s Eve!
With you in prayer,