Having a Crisis of Faith? Come Join us!
Devotional Thought of the Day:
22 So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. 23 Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. 24 Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. 25 Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer. Hebrews 10:22-25 (TEV)
324 The dust thrown up by your fall blinds and disorients you, and you have thoughts which rob you of your peace. Have you sought relief in tears by the side of Our Lord, and in confident conversation with a brother? (1)
If a pastor or priest or even lay ministers are honest, they will admit (but not often) that they have what some call a “crisis of faith” occaisonally. We aren’t perfect, and its my opinion that our people must know this. Simply put, if we are hoenst about this, then they will be as well, and we will be able to minister to them in spirit and in truth.
A crisis of faith isn’t that we don’t believe in God, but that we simply struggle to believe in God.
It may be that the trauma in our own lives is too much, or that the trauma we help others go through has taken its toll as well. It could be our sin, or temptation, which finds a spot in our weakened state and steps on through. Despising our own weakness, we try to overcome it on our own, rather than deal with it at the foot of the cross. Or it can simply be that we have fallen into a rote faith – we go through the motions, numbed by time to the words, and the God whom they reveal.
Either way, it is as our spiriutal life has become paralyzed.
There is a need in such times for each of us to have what they now call a “spiritual director”, or what I prefer to call a “father-confessor”. Someone who is able to speak for God to us, someone who will shepherd us and guide us, and help us until the fog clears. Someone who can share God’s love because they’ve known it during their own crisis, their own brokeness. (which is why I think we have to let people know we go through such times ourselves) They are the ones that can find us, and have our permission to find us, in our caves, when we choose to isolate ourselves.
We need those times, when we can hear the still small voice of God comforting us. Even so, we can’t, especially in those times, avoid gathering with others, sincere in our brokenness, yet needing the encouragement that comes from realizing we are not alone. We need to hear of God’s faithfulness, and to celebrate it together. This too is essential, a major part of our Christian life. For when we realize that God doesn’t give up on any of us, we begin to realize that His promise of being faithful includes us. The illusion is then pierced, and we realize the crisis of faith isn’t a crisis of trust, or us being abandoned by God.
It’s simply that we are tired and overwhelmed and… well yes broken.
We say at my church that we are a place where broken people find healing in Christ, while helping others heal.
The cure for such times, is not to avoid the people of God, fearing they will not understand, it is to come and be embraced by them, to join them at the altar and receive the grace of God as we receive the Body and Blood of Christ (yes – during a crisis of faith – communion, the eucharist is a blessing.. a very needed blessing!) For we all have had, and maybe even having a a crisis of faith, and the church, the people of God provides a great sanctuary during such times. Let’s lift each other up, as God calls us together, a people He will care for, a people He will comfort.
And that starts with us, those who lead in church… those who are broken, so that you may have faith, for if God can heal us… He can (and will ) bring healing to your crisis.
For the Lord will have mercy!
I know – received it over and over. You can too.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1529-1531). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Reflections on Gethsemane (tallmonasticguy.typepad.com)
- “The Crisis of Faith” by Fr. John Hardon, S.J. (insightscoop.typepad.com)
Posted on October 16, 2013, in Devotions, Theology in Practice and tagged broken, Christ, christianity, crisis, crisis of faith, faith, healing, Jesus, mercy, Ministry, Overwhelmed, People of God, Tired, wounded healers. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
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