In the movie The Robe, a Roman centurion named Marcellus was mystified as he watched a crippled lady playing a lyre and singing praises to God. He was even more puzzled when they told him that she was fifteen when she was stricken by paralysis and how she became very bitter until she heard the preaching about Jesus Christ and how she was transformed into a joyful woman. “But she still cannot walk,” Marcellus protested angrily. “If Jesus had such great power, why did He not cure her?” “He did,” was the reply.
A friend of mine name named Charlie has a similar testimony. He became blind at an early age and he is completely dependant on others. Yet he travels the world in the energizing power of God and announces the good news. Whenever people ask why God has not healed him, he replies, “I am healed, I just cannot see!”
Lourdes is Catholic not because physical miracles sometimes happen but because the real miracle always occurs. The crippled and the sick return from this place happy, conscious that God did not make a mistake in permitting this sickness or this handicap. They start understanding that God ALWAYS works in their favor.
At school, the English teacher always insisted about the big difference between childlike = healthy attitude of wonder, innocence and simplicity in an adult, and childish = infantile, immature, whining attitude.
Duffy Robbins contrasts childish and childlike faith in five points.
1. Good Christians don’t have pain and disappointments.
2. God wants to make us happy.
3. God always answers prayers.
4. Faith will help us always understand what God is doing.
5. Good Christians are always strong.
1. God uses our pain and disappointment to make us better Christians.
2. God wants to make us holy.
3. Sometimes he answers with a “No” or “Wait”.
4. Faith will help us to submit to God’s will even when we do not have a clue about what God is doing.
5. Our strength is in admitting our weakness and dependability on God.
Childlike faith focuses on the heavenly Father. Childish faith is self centered and demanding. Childlike faith trusts Him to use even difficulties for our good. Childish faith expects God to shield us from all difficulties and to make life comfortable for us.
Jesus Christ went to watch his first soccer match. The teams were the Protestant Punchers and the Catholic Crusaders. The latter scored first. Jesus cheered wildly and threw his cap in the air. Then the Punchers scored. And Jesus cheered wildly and again threw his cap high in the air.
This puzzled the man behind him and so he tapped Jesus on the shoulder and asked, “Which side are you rooting for, my good man?” “Me?” replied Jesus, visibly excited by the game. “Oh, I am not rooting for either side. I am just enjoying the game.”
This is the effect of prayer – it helps us to enjoy the game of life!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.