Thursday, June 17, 2021

How Not to Lose Your Faith During the Present Crisis - part 3

   

"michael dubruiel"
Following is a series of posts originally written and published by Michael Dubruiel in 2002 - almost twenty years ago. 


How Not to Lose Your Faith During the Present Crisis The items that are filling the newspapers daily now, are the same items that I had to deal with daily almost twenty years ago when I was involved in the daily life of the church. I came very close to losing my faith. I contemplated joining the Orthodox Church among other things, but ultimately through a very trying period, that tested the very core of everything that I had been taught and believed--I have remained a Roman Catholic. Now, it is like reliving a nightmare, only everyone is in on it this time. I would like to share some points to contemplate on if you, like me, find yourself at a loss in the present situation in the Church. None of them by themself will convince you to stay, but I think if you try most of them you'll find that God has a mission for you; to rebuild and to enliven the Church, that as St. Francis was told years ago by Christ, is falling into ruin.

(3) Pray Psalm 73 

The psalms are prayers that are experiential. They bless and curse, express faith and doubt. They were prayed by Jesus (and are often quoted by Him in the Gospels). Psalm 73 puts everything in perspective, it paints the picture of the world we see but then brings us into the Sanctuary of God's presence and reminds us of the real situation. It is easy to be distracted by the apparent success of the sinful--praying Psalm 73 reminds us to keep the end in mind, when the present seems bleak. 

Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 

For they have no pangs; their bodies are sound and sleek. They are not in trouble as other men are; they are not stricken like other men. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes swell out with fatness, their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.

Therefore the people turn and praise them; and find no fault in them. And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken, and chastened every morning.

 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have been untrue to the generation of thy children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. Truly thou dost set them in slippery places; thou dost make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes, on awaking you despise their phantoms. 

When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was stupid and ignorant, I was like a beast toward thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou dost hold my right hand. Thou dost guide me with thy counsel, and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. 

For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish; thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works. 

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