Today's Gospel: Mark 9:14-29
Have you ever walked out of a retreat or a really intense spiritual experience, and you feel that "retreat high"? You're totally motivated, ready to take on the world, the flesh, and the devil and totally cream them all.
But a few hours or a few days later, you start to pray and just feel empty. The words are there, the intention to pray is there, but this mini dark night of the soul is overwhelming. Your heart doesn't respond to the words, and despite thinking through your Communion preparation, receiving Christ's Body and Blood generates merely an emotional "meh".
The prayer of this poor, harried father in the Gospel today is consolation in itself. "I believe, Lord! Help my unbelief!" When all else fails, when faith feels barren and your heart gloomy with its own concerns, there's no sense in trying to generate feelings or emotions. Sometimes all God asks of us is a simple statement of belief and love. "Yes, Lord, I'm here. My mind is flipping between the fifteen things I have to do when I get home, I have no idea what the Gospel reading was today, I'm stressed out about this problem, but I believe."
As long as that little pilot light of our faith stays lit, God can fuel us as He sees fit. We just have to keep repeating this simplest act of of the will, and asking Him to fuel our hearts and souls, to increase our faith.
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How often do I ask the Lord to strengthen my faith?
I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.
Copyright 2017 Rebecca Willen
About the Author
Rebecca Martin serves as Associate Editor for Our Sunday Visitor’s trade books, and Daily Gospel Reflections editor at CatholicMom.com. A native Hoosier and Christendom College alumna, she lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three cats. She is a Lay Dominican, book addict, Shakespeare fangirl, amateur baker, and musician.