Why does God remain hidden? For the believer, this question can challenge faith itself. For the non-believer, the question alone can be sufficient to prove the non-existence of God. So how can we begin to approach it in a way that can both deepen our own faith and help us respond to those who do not believe?
Prayer In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul says, “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself.” (Phil 2:5-7) Why? To save us. Paul encourages us to imitate our Lord. When there’s someone we wish to pray for, we have to be able to go for broke. Oftentimes that includes prayer, fasting and penance.
Dear Fr. Joe: Every year, Lent happens and I start off really hoping to make something of it. My intentions are the best, but it always seems like, the next thing I know, it's Easter and I’ve missed it. Can you help me do better this year?
I believe I can help you! Let’s start with an important point: You are struggling with something that I think most people do – the inability to “get it right," no matter how good our intentions or plans. What do we do about that?
Does God exist? For Catholics, the answer to this question is ultimately a matter of faith. However, not everyone in the world shares this faith. So how are believers to argue for the existence of God when entering into dialogue with non-believers? A good place to begin is by looking back to a few of the more famous arguments put forward in favor of the existence of God. You will notice that each attempts to appeal to human reason, an approach that the Church approves of for it offers the possibility of encountering a starting point for discussion with non-believers.
“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sm 3:10)
My mom used to say, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we talk.” The older I get, the more I realize I need to put her wise words into practice. I’m often guilty of half listening and double-talking, and that bad habit even spills into my relationship with God, the Father. When I get tangled up in my plans or worries, my prayer is more like, “Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking,” instead of the other way around.
FAITH offers a new column, Discipleship 101, based on Sherry Weddell’s books, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (2012) and Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World (2017). Sherry is a leading voice in the Catholic world in the field of forming missionary disciples – engaged Catholics who strive to grow as disciples of Jesus and go evangelize, sharing the Gospel with others.