Praying with the fervor of a living faith
Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
By Fr. Roy Cimagala
That gospel episode of the blind man who, upon learning that it was Christ passing by, sprang to his feet and screamed to beg Christ to heal him of his blindness (cfr. Lk 18,35-43) teaches us a great lesson of how to pray with the fervor of a living faith.
Yes, we need to pray without ceasing, as St. Paul told us in his First Letter to the Thessalonians. (5,16) To keep our spiritual life alive, to make it survive all trials in life, let alone, to make it work effectively and grow healthily, we need to pray without letup. We need to pray especially when we find ourselves in some urgent or persistent needs.
What food is to our biological life, prayer is to our spiritual life. Prayer is like the breathing and the very beating of the heart of our life with God and with others. It is the primary and abiding link we have with God and with everybody else. Without it, we would simply isolate ourselves.
In short, we can say that while God is objectively with us, since he is present everywhere, we have to make sure that on our part, we should also be subjectively with him. Precisely, St. Augustine once complained about this problem of God being with us while we are not with him. We need to correspond to this objective reality of our unbreakable and intimate relation with God.
Our need to pray is like our need to breathe. It should be non-stop, since it is indispensable in our union with God our Creator, who keeps us alive and healthy in our spiritual life. Again, let’s bring back a basic truth—without God we are nothing!
But for our prayer to be most pleasing to God, it has to come from the fervor of a living faith. Thus, we need to take care of our faith.
Faith is a tremendous gift from God who starts to share with us what he has, what he knows about himself and about ourselves. It gives us the global picture of reality, covering both the temporal and the eternal, the material and the spiritual, the natural and supernatural dimensions of our life.
It is what gives permanent value to our passing concerns, the ultimate, constant and unifying standard to all the variables of our life. The perishable things of life can attain an imperishable quality when infused with faith. What is merely earthly and mundane can have a sanctifying effect when done with faith.
By its very dynamics, it fuels our hope and prepares us for a life of charity which is how our life ought to be. It is also nourished and is the effect of charity, indicating to us that faith is organically united to charity, the very essence of God in whose image and likeness we are.
It is faith that lets us enter into the spiritual and supernatural world. It brings us to share in God’s wisdom and power. Remember those stirring words of Christ: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from there, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you.” ((Mt 17,20)
Without faith, in spite of our keenest intelligence, we will miss much of the more important aspects of our life as we would only be restricted to the here and now, the material and the temporal.