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win back our faith

Catherine was really mad at God. She had to admit it. Her husband just found out that his cancer had come back—for the third time, and he would have to begin treatments the following Monday. Catherine had been praying that he would get a good report, but it wasn’t to be.

Catherine was a good person and very devoted to her husband and family. And now that her children were all married and out of the house she had thought that she and Joe could enjoy their older years together. But Joe’s illness had made these past couple of years really challenging. 

But the thing that was really bothering her right now was that fact that she felt this way toward God. She had always been a devout Catholic who was taught from her earliest childhood to live and respect her faith. And she instilled this in her children as well. She was involved in her parish and had been a help to many of her friends.

So, at the Lenten Penance Service she confessed that as one of her sins—that she was angry at God. When she had finished, the priest said to her that getting angry at God wasn’t a sin—that God understood there are times when we get frustrated and sort of need to vent. Questioning God can eventually lead to a stronger faith if we are willing to hang in there.

Look at the example of Doubting Thomas. And he explained: 

Thomas was mad that Jesus had failed. He was brooding over it, nursing his anger and sorrow in solitude. So when he finally heard the news of the Resurrection, he wouldn’t accept it: “Unless I see the marks of the nails…I will not believe.”

But a week later while Thomas is hiding out with the other Apostles filled with fears and doubts, Jesus comes through the locked doors and says: “Peace be with you.”

Then he goes right over to Thomas and says: here, touch my wounds, believe in me.

Jesus wasn’t offended by Thomas’s doubts. He was just eager to get his faith back. Christ is very patient with him and humbles himself by letting Thomas touch him.

And Thomas’s response is: “My Lord and my God.” A great expression of faith.

There are times when we resist God’s action in our lives, get mad at Him, don’t trust Him, rebel against Him. And it is precisely in those moments and those corners of our lives where Jesus wants to show his patience and mercy—where he wants to win back our faith.

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