April 5, 2019

Be Our Guest / Mary Schott

Make faith a constant despite life’s challenges

My faith has been waning of late. With the clergy sex-abuse crisis and how more is learned each day, I have felt disheartened and have wondered if our whole faith is just a myth, as some in the world try to tell us. I guess it just goes back to reading Scripture every day and praying and asking for faith and guidance and truth. We find if we seek, but we have to seek.

When we read “so also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (Jas 2:17), we wonder at our own complaisance.

Have we done anything valuable or worthy or helpful to anyone? Is there a God, and is he pleased with us? Must we be so busy and generous and active that we practically fall dead into bed each night? What is God really asking of us?

Some of us absolutely fall into the opposite spectrum of that, and we feel ashamed and embarrassed. Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that prevent us from being as active as we might like to be. Sometimes, we are just lost, unguided or unsupported, or we just don’t know any better. At any rate, I think prayer is always a good response, even if we are not perfect or don’t live up to our own or others’ expectations.

Then along comes someone’s kindness and generosity toward us, and we are humbled and once again brought up to faith—if just faith in the inherent goodness of others and humanity itself. When we dig deeper, we usually find that that individual is a person of faith who is prayerful, hardworking and sacrificial. And we are inspired. So the cycle continues, and we are able to get to our feet and start or try again.

I had that experience recently when I went to pick up my car after it was serviced and found that my bill was not the anticipated $1,000, but that they had found a way to keep my costs down, still do good repairs, and an anonymous donor had put $300 toward those repairs. My gratitude overflows.

I am no longer raising a child alone, but I am alone and growing older. We often wonder what the future holds, but we are reminded not to look too far ahead and to try to concentrate on living this day well.

There is one constant in this world and it is Jesus Christ, our faith and our Church. The gates of hell will not prevail against it (Mt 16:18). We must do what we can to make it better and excoriate evil from it.

We, as Catholics, need to be on the same page, and we must be supportive of one another and “admonish one another … with gratitude in your hearts toward God” (Col. 3:16). 

I am grateful that no matter what, the one constant I’ve kept through the years is the faith my parents gave me and our Church taught me. I am grateful. For without that, I would have nothing at all, and that would be a tragedy indeed.

(Mary Schott is a member of Good Shepherd Parish in Indianapolis.)

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