Tag Archives: Faith

A Hard Question?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Plead the Fifth.”

By: FRATER BOVIOUS


What is Truth?

What is Truth?

Is Jesus God?

I used to think this was a hard question, and I used to have a lot of different answers to that question, depending on who I thought my target audience was.

Sometimes I would plead the Fifth, but my motives for that had more to do with personal weakness and lack of conviction than whomever I was talking with.

Once I admitted to myself to actually having a conviction, I then determined to have the courage of that conviction. And then, once I began to engage the issue, I noticed a few categories of people who ask that question:

  1. Never have I been asked that question by a Catholic.
  2. Protestants ask a variant of “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior?”
  3. Agnostics pretty much just ask the question in terms of belief, “Do you really believe Jesus is God?”
  4. Atheists, the one or two that I have actually run into, don’t ask a question, they simply make a statement, “There is no God,” making the question of Jesus irrelevant.

I used to try to engage and reason, but most people, even the faithful, seem to lack the interest in reasons or explanations. If the answer was longer than about five words, the attention span was used up and the moment lost.

I now simply answer, “Yes,” to categories 2 and 3 above, and “Yes there is,” to category 4. I haven’t really thought about why Catholics don’t ask this question (until just now) but I think “Yes” is the right answer for that category as well.

But, I have found in the case of believers and atheists that a simple “Yes” sometimes ends the conversation. Believers are generally glad to hear it, but uninterested in Catholic thought on the matter, and non-believers are incredulous.

Agnostics want to know why I believe such a curious thing, and those are the interesting conversations.

But I have learned to always start with “Yes” to remove any ambiguity about where I stand. In matters like this, I have taken to heart Jesus’ admonition,

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.'” Apoc 3:15-16

Now, I just say, “Yes.” The ball is now in their court. If they ask a question, or make a statement, it is almost always, at its core, “What is Truth?” Even when they don’t know that is their root question, we then have lots to talk about.

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Does Prayer Work?

A Proper Disposition

By Frater Bovious


(CARROLLTON – Cradle of Civilization) On my way home from work, listening to the radio, a lady called in with a question about prayer. She had read a book that appears to have made her feel that if she was “praying properly” she would have some tangible evidence that her prayers were heard. Yet, she had been praying fervently and receiving no feedback – and so was left with faith alone that her prayers were heard.

She didn’t say “just faith” but my sense was, while she was willing to just go on faith, she really wanted some kind of verification. This appears to have been triggered by the fact she had several losses in her life, various in-laws and such, and was trying to “cover her kids with prayer”, but nevertheless had some anxiety concerning the safety of her children.

This triggered a line of thought for me – the following is not a response to her and her situation, though it may be related. The line of thought concerns the proper disposition to prayer.

Hand Holding a Rabbit's Foot Key Chain

It’s worth considering for a moment if we have a “lucky rabbit’s foot” approach to prayer.

There is no soft way to put this: There are two basic dispositions to prayer, in my experience:

My Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done

“If I do this and such, God will grant me my wish.” “God wants me to be with him in heaven.”

Humility is the sine qua non  for answering the call to be holy. Many times it’s not that we aren’t getting an answer to our prayers, it’s that we are not getting the answer that we are listening for. God is not a lucky rabbit’s foot. He is not a talisman. There is no formula, no incantation, that will bend God to our will. But much of our prayer comes with that underlying premise: “I will bend God to my will.”

Even when we ask him to protect our children?

Even when we ask him to protect our children.

Jesus prayed a lot. Here is one:

MT 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

It’s hard to acknowledge that we are not in control, isn’t it.