I was dragged to mass again today @ 7:30, and I left an away message before I left, questioning God’s existence and mentioning how he’s a coward for never showing himself. After the gospel reading, Father gave a homily that I actually enjoyed. In fact, it countered my away message to a tee! I was frustrated that God doesn’t reveal himself, and the priest offered an explanation. He even admitted that it often SEEMS like God doesn’t exist! He gave the example of someone praying for something and then not having it answered. This is a common basis for denying God. “If he’s there, why doesn’t he help me??”. Father explained that while he might not deliver what we want on the outside, we do receive it on the inside. Yes, I know it sounds hokey…but somehow it made sense. For example:
Often I’ll see my mom pray and then later say “Thank God!”. My mother prays that it doesn’t rain so she can go to the beach. It does rain. But then she has more time to read, and she acts like her prayer was answered. In a sense, it was. She wanted to enjoy herself, and she DID…just in another way. So while a person doesn’t usually get what they want from God, He does give you a new way to look at things and become equally content. It’s not the best example, but you can see what I mean.
Once I understood the point I realized how much sense it actually made and has now enhanced my belief that God does play a role in our lives. When I first went to college I remember telling God how upset I was that He let this happen, because I really didn’t want to go. I prayed that I’d get to go back home where I’d be happier. Turns out I absoultely loved college, and I was actually happier there then at home! Did I get what I wanted? On the outside, no, I didn’t go home as I wanted. But on the inside I was happier, my reason for wanting to go home. See how it works?
Anyways, I still remain skeptical about much of the Catholic faith, but I have a much better appreciation for those who strongly believe. I can see now that I was a little hasty to completely shun religion. I actually understand how prayer works now, and that is key to my increased faith. That’s not to say I’m now a bible-thumpin’ kid who’ll be going to church every week at college. Not even close. But I do see things a little differently now. This could just be an instant emotional response to a mass that happened just a few hours ago, I can’t really say. But hearing a rational, thought-provoking priest was a welcome change from the norm.