“I tell you, ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
We give up way too quickly and give in way too quickly. We give up on the Lord way too quickly and give in to sin way too quickly. My excuse is that I doubt in the Lord more than in myself. I am overly confident, overly stubborn and overly sinful!
“You have defied me in word, says the Lord, yet you ask, “What have we spoken against you?” You have said, “It is vain to serve God, and what do we profit by keeping his command, and going about in penitential dress in awe of the Lord of hosts. Rather must we call the proud blessed; for indeed evildoers prosper, and even tempt God with impunity.” (Mal 3:13)
I say I ask and I do not receive. I seek but do not find. I knock and no door is ever opened. But I know in the deepest depths of my soul that this is not true. What is true is that I ask once and dream a lot! I glance and run so as not to be found. I knock on the wrong door and it always opens, for I know the combination well to every door that my heart and soul desires. I know what I seek most and find least. I seek to be blessed as my own god at the expense of finding my God. I seek the least and never find the most.
What is the least? The now! I do not plan. I am a creature of comfort. I seek that which is most appealing to me. I seek the friend that comes to me at night but do not have the faith or strength to take care of him. I seek to be a host without being a host. I seek to be a father without putting the time and effort to be one. I seek to be a husband without putting the love and sacrifice required. I seek to have children without being a mother or a father. What is the minimum? It is my selfless desires without selfish denials.
“Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.” Do I just want to be or do I want to be holy? Is the Universe just here or is it complete? Is life a journey without end (purpose) or is it paved with gold and marked with destination? Is life just the visible or is marked with hidden and blessed mystery? Do I live for myself or do I live for others? Do my decisions dictate my fate or is it the twists and turns of fate that dictate my decisions? Did I find love or did it find me? Did I impose my will or was it imposed for me? If we have a mind to ask, to seek and to find then the answers are obvious: “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord!”
Hilaire Belloc wrote of himself to his good friend G.K. Chesterton,
“I am by all my nature of mind skeptical, by all my nature of body exceedingly sensual. So sensual that the virtues restrictive of sense are but phrases to me. But I accept these phrases as true and act upon them as well as a struggling man can. And as to the doubt of the soul I discover it to be false: a mood: not a conclusion. My conclusion – and that of all men who have ever once seen it – is the faith. Corporate, organized, a personality, teaching. A thing, not a theory. It.
To you, who have the blessing of profound religious emotion, this statement, may seem too desiccate…But beyond this there will come in time, if I save my soul, the flesh of these bones – which bones alone I can describe and teach. I know – without feeling (an odd thing in such a connection) the reality of Beatitude: which is the goal of Catholic Living.
Doubt, by definition, means that either all paths are valid or not a single path is. A man living with doubts is like a man standing at a crossroad; which, by definition, means stagnation. I can believe all paths are valid or I can believe in not a single one. I am stuck. I no longer seek, no longer ask, no longer knock, no longer live, no longer dream, no longer love. I am frozen in time and in life.
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. “I am the way, the truth and the life.”