Saturday, June 19, 2021

How Not to Lose Your Faith During the Present Crisis - part 5


"michael dubruiel"
Following is a series of posts originally written and published by Michael Dubruiel in 2002 - almost twenty years ago. 

How Not to Lose Your Faith During the Present Crisis The items that are filling the newspapers daily now, are the same items that I had to deal with daily almost twenty years ago when I was involved in the daily life of the church. I came very close to losing my faith. I contemplated joining the Orthodox Church among other things, but ultimately through a very trying period, that tested the very core of everything that I had been taught and believed--I have remained a Roman Catholic. Now, it is like reliving a nightmare, only everyone is in on it this time. I would like to share some points to contemplate on if you, like me, find yourself at a loss in the present situation in the Church. None of them by themself will convince you to stay, but I think if you try most of them you'll find that God has a mission for you; to rebuild and to enliven the Church, that as St. Francis was told years ago by Christ, is falling into ruin.

(5) Practice the Prayer "God Alone" 

On the right hand column of this blog is a picture of the entrance to the cloister of Gethsemane, most known by people in this country for having been the monastery where Thomas Merton was a monk. Over the gate are simple words that the monk would encounter as he makes his way into the cloister. They are also words, that the visitor to the chapel also encounters. They have left a mark in my consciousness.

 In my better moments they haunt me. It is a good thing. Too often we create idols that interfere with our worship of God. Often these idols come crashing down around us. Jesus told the rich young man that the greatest commandment was to, "Love God with your whole heart, mind and soul." The rich young man went away sad, because his "possessions" were many. 

Our possessions, the things that we either possess or possess us can keep us from God. All it takes is a blow to our health, the suffer of some financial loss, or some other malady to befall us for us to be faced with the truth of which they all are for us--items we own or are owned by. 

The practice of keeping "God Alone" always before us, can keep us focused on what really matters. It can help us to treat our fellow human beings with the dignity that they deserve, it can help us to see meaning in what other wise seem meaningless events. If we focus on the strength of the winds, the enormity of our problems we will sink. If we focus on "God Alone" nothing can defeat us.