A Trial of Faith

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Persevering in Difficult Situations

When you are faced with any type of difficult situation in life, you don’t have to go it alone. You can enter into it with Christ through prayer.

A “difficult situation” is not necessarily your immediate, external environment. It could be a past or future situation that you have handed your keys to… keys to your interior castle, so that it can take custody of your inner peace. The situation playing in replay can seize your attention and inflame an over-analytical mind, an anxious heart, or a rebel passion challenging your intellect and will.

In these moments, where you find your mind or heart moving away from the peace of God, you can pray to Him to take you by the hand and help you navigate this difficult situation.

Mary, Untier of Knots

Much the way that muscles can get knotted up, I feel that my soul has so much grooming to undergo before it is ready for heaven. In many areas, my soul feels wound-up like a ball of tangled strings.

I like to pray to Mary to help untie these knots, as it was she who, by God’s grace, knit Jesus in her womb, cell by cell, fiber by fiber. It is such a special role that she has had, and continues to have, in salvation history. She was perfectly human and so intimately united with God as a daughter, mother, and spouse, so it is a logical step to ask for her intercession, as the Untier of Knots, that our souls may be untangled and rewoven over time into one that is in perfect union with God.

Mary, Undoer of Knots (Art by Tracy L. Christianson at Portraits of Saints)

God’s Presence in The Eucharist

Where God can ultimately come closest to us in this life is in the great, paradoxical, mysterious Sacrament of the Eucharist. As a Catholic, I believe He is present in the Eucharist, and at the same time it goes beyond my little brain to fully comprehend that… that the one, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God would be willing to enter into communion with me in the humble appearances of bread and fermented grapes.

Our closness with God in the Eucharist ties into the full quote by Father Tadeusz Dajczer:

“Any kind of difficult situation is a trial of faith. I may feel alone and helpless in the face of such trials. Yet the truth is really quite different, paradoxically different. In these highly difficult moments, God is actually closest to me. In times of huge sexual temptations, Christ says to Saint Catherine of Siena: ‘I have never been so close to you as in this moment.’ In such moments, God is simply just waiting for me. He is waiting for me to discover the value and treasure of the Eucharist. In every temptation, crisis, fear, or moment of despair, he wants to embrace and transform me by this redeeming sacrament.”—Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer, The Mystery of Faith: Meditations on the Eucharist

I reflect on the Eucharist more in my article The Eucharist: Difficult Bread

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