Undaunted Faith

Posted by James Hahn on

Mark 2:1-12

There is so much to this reading. Every time I read it I think of something different to meditate on. In the past I have always seen the paralytic as merely along for the ride. I have read it with the idea that perhaps he was telling his friends to put him down or to give up. Maybe he was discouraged by the crowd and asked them to simply take him home and they could try another day when Jesus wasn't so busy. Maybe that says more about my personality and what I need to work on.

But today it hit me that maybe it was just the opposite. Maybe it was the paralytic who pushed his friends into doing something radical. Maybe in the past he had tried to get others to get him close to Jesus but to no avail. And now he wasn't giving up. I can hear him begging them to find another way, any way and telling them that he refused to go home.

No matter how you look at it it is apparent that we are in this together. We need each other. In pre-Cana classes I lovingly tell couples that the perfect image of marriage is the crucifix. Sometimes you are Christ to your spouse and sometimes you are the cross. Either way, both are necessary. There is no salvation without Christ and there is no salvation without the cross.

Sometimes we are the paralytic that wants to throw in the towel. We want to just give up and drown in self-pity and it takes those who love us to bring us to Christ. They help join the cross of our suffering to the Christ who takes away all suffering. Other times we are the friend who will not give up on the person we love. We become Christ and we help carry their cross. We know that he or she is paralyzed by sin and we will not stop until we bring them before Christ. And still, at other times we may be the paralytic who pushes the friends to not give up. We tell them that we are depending on them and by doing so we bring out the best in them - we raise them up and they raise us up.

Jesus has the power to work those same miracles today. Over and over in the scriptures Jesus is moved by a show of faith. If you are paralyzed call upon those people who will help you to Jesus. If you are helping someone, are you doing all that you can? Are you ripping a hole in Heaven by your prayers and bringing your friend before Christ?

TAKE TWO -
Jesus wants us to be persistent, faithful, and cunning in regards to our faith. He wants us to approach our faith life with the same zeal, creativity, passion that we pour into our other life projects. Imagine what your faith life would be like, imagine the effect that it would have on others if you poured the same amount of energy into prayer as you do into business, sports, hobbies, etc! What have you got to lose? What is there to gain? There are much better pay-outs for the eternal investor than the temporal.

How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation

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