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I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Have it His Way!

Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight posts a rant from one of his readers, Andrew. In addition to horrendous spelling Andrew puts forth all sorts of accusations and allegations about Christianity. He states openness to truth yet spouts debunked myths about the Church as if they were fact. (Perhaps he is distantly related to Dan Brown) However he does ask an interesting question: With so many unanswered prayers, why do you think God exists?

Just what are you afraid of ???? I mean how do you reconcile the Holocaust in world war 2, praying didnt(sic) do much good then did it, same for the Killing fields in Cambodia and all these Hurricanes last year, I could go on and on.


The fallacy that guides this poor soul is that our prayers control God. God does not run a Burger King style prayer outlet with the slogan “Have it Your Way”. Rather, God invites us to “Have it His Way”. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray “Thy will be done”. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed “Thy will, not mine”.

Jesus invites us to offer our petitions to God with confidence. Yet we are also called to conform our will to God’s. So much happens in our lifetimes that we do not understand. Our human vision is very limited. God with His perfect understanding of all things knows our needs better than we know ourselves. Just perhaps what seems like an unanswered prayer is in truth the perfect answer.

Faith is a grace. It is not the conclusion reached by an exercise in logic. That does not mean it is illogical. It just means that logic and reason alone do not lead us to Faith. A really interesting book is Faith on Trial by Pamela Binnings Ewen. Ms. Ewen, an attorney, applies the standards of courtroom evidence to what we know about Jesus. Our evidence fares quite well. However, it still takes that final leap of faith to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, died for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Our Faith is not a natural product of logic. However, it is also not an anathema to logic.

Andrew is not unique in his perspective. The popularity a few years ago of The Prayer of Jabez is proof of that. It was supposed to be the newly rediscovered prayer that held the key to getting what you want from God. We must humbly remember that God is not created in our image. We are created in His.

So today offer a prayer for Andrew and others of his persuasion that they will be blessed with the grace of Faith. And once you offer that prayer, trust that God will answer it. Not on your terms, but on His.

3 comments:

Christine said...

I remember an old monk who did our parish mission a few years back. He said that God answers every prayer we pray, but that there are three answers:

Yes.

Not yet.

No.

Just like any good parent, He must tell us no sometimes. And sometimes, like children who want cookies just before dinner, the answer is to wait.

Tony said...

Mom,

You were much more chaitable than I was. I guess I forgot Augustine's admonition: "In omnibus, caritas".

Catholic Mom said...

Tony,
His rant did not show up in my email. On first reading I do not believe charitable thoughts were the first to come to mind. A little distance makes it easier to be charitable in response. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing!

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