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Increase Our Faith

At the time I write this devotion, I am taking part in a nationwide period of fasting and prayer for healing in the Church. I pray that these months later there has been a real change repairing the damage that was done by unfaithful bishops and priests, but I know that in reality things change so very slowly.

Our clergy still need our prayers, now and always, so that they will live up to the standards that Saint Paul gave for priests and bishops in his letter to Titus. One must completely surrender oneself to God in a life of prayer in order to “be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled.” (Titus 1:7-8). It is not an easy standard to live up to, and temptations of power and pleasure are hard to resist.

There is a great warning to our hierarchy and priests in today’s Gospel of their own danger if they lead those who have been entrusted to them into sin. However, Jesus also gives a message of great hope. (Luke 17:1-2). He tells His Apostles that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed that they can do incredible things. (Luke 17:6). If they repent of their sins, acknowledging their own weaknesses and seek to live out a sacramental life, open to grace, and receptive of the gift of faith, God will help them do incredible things, even living up to Saint Paul’s standards!

Christ also calls us to that faith. Some days it feels that the sacrifices of one little laywoman like me can do nothing to bring about the healing our Church needs. My prayers seem ineffectual to move others to repentance. But then, I remember the parable in today’s Gospel. All Christ asks of me is to have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, faith that He gives me as a gift, and with that He can do wonders.

Sisters, our clergy always have and always will need so much grace to live the life of holiness that God calls them to in their vocation. Pray with me that the Lord will increase our faith (Luke 17:5) so that we will persevere in praying for our priests, bishops, cardinals, and Pope to lead us with true holiness. Our prayers will be heard, because our God is faithful even when His ministers may not be.

All Christ asks of me is to have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, faith that He gives me as a gift, and with that He can do wonders. Click To Tweet

Pray for the Church and all of the priests today, sister.

Susanna Spencer is the Theological Editor for Blessed is She who studied theology and philosophy in her earlier life. She happily cares for her three adorable little girls, toddler boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul when not writing and editing. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here. She is the Theological Editor of both the Catechism Studies and the Mystery Studies.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Maggie Rainville
    November 12, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Thanks: too often I also am overwhelmed by the neediness of this world, the human misery, and I cry out with the apostles: increase my faith! Increase my capacity for healing and doing good that I might bring goodness and order and peace. Thank you, sister for reminding me that my job is not to be the solution but to offer all I have and let Christ be the solution, to let him take the few loaves and feed the thousands…it’s what He does best. I’ll just bake the bread and offer it all. Thanks, sister, especially in the face of these scandals: you have helped me much today

  • Reply
    Jen
    November 12, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Ugh… your words have me wondering, has the falling of our priests been the direct result of the congregations failure to pray them through the enormous temptations satan puts before them? Yes, they are but human, but the temptations they are subjected to are enormous in comparison to mine as a lay person. Are we as a people just now understanding the true impact of our turning from God to a secular world? A world where prayer is second place at best and the reality of temptations and sin have bees lost. Just my rambling thoughts, not questions that anyone need answer. Have a blessed day!

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