Praised be Jesus Christ! “A couple of nuns who were nursing Sisters had gone out to the country to minister to an outpatient. On the way back they were a few miles from home when they ran out of gas. They were standing beside the car on the shoulder when a truck approached. Seeing ladies of the cloth in distress, the driver stopped to offer his help. The nuns explained they needed some gas. The driver of the truck said he would gladly drain some from his tank, but he didn’t have a bucket or can. One of the nuns dug out a clean bedpan and asked the driver if he could use it. He said yes and proceeded to drain a couple of quarts of gas into the pan. He waved good- bye to the nuns and left. The nuns were carefully pouring the precious fluid into their gas tank when a highway patrol came by. The trooper stopped and watched for a minute, then he said, “Sisters, I don’t think it will work, but I sure do admire your faith!” I suspect just about everyone reading this has heard this joke in one form or another. What it introduces for us today is the idea of faith – a conviction about things that appear to be somewhat improbable but are compelling nevertheless. Abraham had faith that God would keep His word, even though this future “Father of nations” was old and he and his wife had never conceived. Mary had faith as she stood at the foot of the Cross while her only Son spent His last moments forgiving what was seemingly unforgivable. We’re living in a time that requires deep faith. So many things in this world can dampen our faith: whether it’s a sinful addiction or an old wound from that past, it’s not a sure thing that any of us will have faith as we come to the end of our life. It’s no wonder Jesus once asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). I’ve become aware that many in our community are hurting because of the terrible scandals that happened in the Church over the years. Some have even left the parish and that makes me very sad. It’s time to pray and fast more so that the faith that is such a precious gift in our world will not go quietly into the night. Yes, it’s a challenging time for a person to believe in a supremely good God when His ministers have done such despicable things. But the good news is that God can heal even the deepest wound. Whether it be the abuse by a trusted priest or the abandonment we experienced as our parents went through a terrible divorce, God is an expert in healing broken hearts. As we’ve done in the past, we are once again hosting a healing Mass at Our Lady of Peace on Friday, November 9th at 5:30 p.m. This is an incredible opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to do what He alone can do, namely console us in our sorrows and embolden us for the battles ahead. And while I was once rather skeptical of spiritual healing, that is no longer the case: the fruit I’ve seen in the lives of some very discouraged and hurting people has convinced me that this is a way out of the darkness. What happens is after the Mass many prayers are recited for deliverance from evil spirits. Sacramentals such as Holy Water and Blessed Salt are used, and then people are welcome to come forward and be prayed over. After the service there is additional time with the prayer team for the healing to go deeper for those interested. Faith is damaged by sin – ours and others’ – but it can be restored to health by the Holy Spirit. Please consider coming and inviting people you know who are hurting. For those who have participated in the past, please share the peace and joy you received in opening your hearts to God.
May God heal the brokenhearted and restore to health the wounded faith of our families and friends!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin