Louis wasn’t sleeping at night. He couldn’t get his mind to “turn off”. And going through his head were all his worries: about his business in this struggling economy, his eldest daughter and her struggles with the social life at high school and the difficulties that social media were causing for her. Then there was his wife’s cancer treatments. They were wearing her out. Hopefully there would be a longer break before the next round began.
What was hard for Louis was that in the past he had always been able to solve everyone’s problems. He kind of prided himself on being just that, a problem-solver. But this past year and a half he seemed to be losing his touch! And that’s what was keeping him up all night—trying to figure out what he should do.
Louis was friendly with the priest at his parish, and one Sunday after Mass he went up to him to say hello. Father Rich said, “Lou, you look tired. Are you doing ok?” So, Louis started to share all that had been going on and how he was at a loss as to what he should do. And the priest said to him, “Maybe what you’re being asked to do is nothing. I know for a problem-solver and a planner like you, to be told to do nothing is like a sentence of death. But maybe in all of this God is really doing you a favor. He’s trying to teach you something here, I think. Why don’t you try leaving all these things in God’s hands and even praying a little more or even getting to Mass more than just on Sundays. You’d be surprised what God will do for you if you just give him the time.”
So, Louis did just that. He tried to get to Mass during the week and he kept praying that he would have the grace to let go and leave these issues in God’s hands. And gradually he found that he was sleeping better at night.
Today we have the familiar story of Bartimaeus. What drew him to Jesus? It was the realization that he needed help, that he couldn’t handle his problems on his own anymore. For whatever reason he was at the point where all he could do was to simply cry out for help—“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Father Walter Ciszek, SJ, whose cause is now up for canonization, wrote this:
“Every moment of our life has a purpose, every action of ours, no matter how dull or routine or trivial it may seem in itself, has a dignity and a worth beyond human understanding. No man’s life is insignificant—no matter what the world or his neighbors or family or friends may think of them.”
There was a purpose in Louis coming to the realization that he needed help—that he couldn’t handle all his problems by himself. He was learning that God didn’t want him to be the problem-solver as much as he wanted Louis to slow down and rely on Him.
I believe that Christ is also trying to share this same message with many of us. There’s a lot to worry about. Sometimes just some time in prayer, and the grace of the sacrament of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist, is what we need to calm our racing minds and hearts. Just remember that every moment of your life has a purpose. So, say Bartimaeus’s prayer—“Son of David, have pity on me.” Let Christ be the problem-solver and the source of strength to live a life of interior peace, even though the storm may be swirling around you!