Faith Under Fire
Does it ever seem to you that when you are filled with faith and exude a vibrant spirit, that something - more often than not, someone - finds a way to knock you down? Sometimes it comes from a friend or family member that's supposed to be loving and kind. Sometimes it comes from a total stranger. No matter who it comes from, we always know that the evil one encouraged it. He cannot stand when we abide in God's love. Better still, he cannot stand it when we remain in faith and loving God fully, even when we are under fire. Don't get me wrong, maintaining faith and focus can be very hard in a world that doesn't understand it or around people who, themselves, are so filled with pain that they want to inflict it on us.
But if we can find the tears - and yes there will be a kind of catharsis involved - as well as the prayers to suffer through those hard moments, we will experience that fervency and vibrancy again. More than that, we will come out the other side of this negative experience, stronger. Stronger not because we are more capable, but stronger because have reached out to God knowing that He never left us alone in the first place. That's what the sacraments remind us. Through them we are drawn back into God: forgiveness in Confession, closeness in the Eucharist, and in holiness in Anointing.
From these experiences - the difficult ones in everyday life and the glorified ones in the sacraments - we derive our need and desire to commune more fully with God. That is why we need meditative and contemplative prayer. Through the prayer of the mind and then the prayer of the mind in the heart, we learn to let God in a little more each day. The hope is that abiding in Him more and more in each and every moment, we will begin that path of total union with Him now that will be completed in and last for all of eternity.