For those of you who, like me, may be struggling in our Church these day, I thought I would share my Give Us This Day reflection from two weeks ago.
I don’t know why it always surprises me when I open up the daily Scriptures and find a reading that speaks right to my heart, as though God placed it there just for me. And so it was that at a time when I was struggling with some of the more human elements of Church, the underbelly of faith, I came to today’s reading from Acts. “We must obey God rather than men,” the apostles remind us, even as they faced persecution for “the sake of the name.” While we may not have to deal with direct persecution in our daily lives, we often face revelations and realizations that can be as dangerous to our spiritual lives as the Sanhedrin’s threats were to the apostles’ physical lives. Despair and doubt, if allowed to fester, are destructive forces to be sure.
But, if we obey God rather than men, it changes the dynamic. God alone. That is what we must hang our hopes on. Anything or anyone else is bound to be flawed, bound to disappoint, and in the process, likely to shake our faith and scar our souls at some point. So how to obey God first and only when we live in a human world? Prayer. Always prayer. When we are so hurt that we can’t even say the prayers of our Church, we can say the prayers of our heart. Speak to God one-on-one, face-to-face, and let God heal your fractured soul.
Mary DeTurris Poust, “God Alone,” from the May 2019 issue of Give Us This Day www.giveusthisday.org (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2019). Used with permission