In the first reading we hear the prophet Habakkuk (1:2-3; 2:2-4) complaining to the Lord. He is experiencing a real trial and wonders why God does not answer his prayers. Even when it seems evil is triumphing, God will be triumphant in the end. God is calling us to a deeper patience, a deeper trust. Times of unanswered prayer are times that God uses to call us to a deeper and more intense life of prayer. Moments of trial are when we have nothing but God. We should never forget the words of Saint Paul to Timothy: “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14). We should never become a slave to human respect, that is pushing our faith, our relationship with God, to the very bottom of our priorities. No, God does not give a spirit of cowardice. He gives a spirit of power and self control. The power of God is His triumph on the cross, his victory over death, His victory in forgiving sins in the sacrament of confession, the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of our savior at the Mass.
We cannot ever be lukewarm in living the faith. That is not the attitude of a good son or daughter of God. It is very natural to really have a struggle of faith especially during difficult times. That is exactly when we should look to the Apostles, and thank God for the Apostolic Church—the Church which is traced back to these twelve. They were men who were painfully aware of their weaknesses and turned to our Lord. They cry out to Him: “increase our faith!”(Lk 17:5-10). That’s what we can pray when the priest raises the Eucharist for us to adore at the moment of Consecration. After St Thomas Aquinas would gaze at the host which he had just consecrated he would silently pray “You are the king of glory. You are the eternal son of the Father”. When Saint Josemaria Escriva would gaze upon the consecrated host, he would pray, “increase our faith, our hope, and our love!” What great examples these priest saints give to us. It is also a tradition to pray “my Lord and my God!”
It is very easy these days to abandon the Catholic faith. When one is tempted to do so, one should simply be asked: “are you willing to renounce the Eucharist?” The Eucharist is truly the source and summit of our faith and only the Catholic Church has the Eucharist. We can go to our Lord present in the Eucharist to help us when we begin to falter.
Since it is October we cannot forget our Blessed Mother’s great victory at the battle of Lepanto! A victory which by all accounts seemed very unlikely. It was due to the great rosary campaign that had begun that the Blessed Mother obtained victory. Pray the Rosary everyday. Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.