Struggling to stay Catholic? You're not alone. Faith seeks wonder to flourish. I'll share it when it shows up.

The Gospel of Mark makes no bones about the world of the Christ. It is a world full of spirit beings: angels who minister to him in the wilderness and unclean spirits infecting human lives whom he silences with a word. Humans who inhabit his world soon divide themselves into two camps: those unfit for sacred worship who receive his authority as divine, and the observant righteous who see him only as a servant of the ruler of demons.

The Lord Christ comes that we may see the world and see it rightly, all things visible and invisible.

And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables.” – Mark 4:11 (RSV-CE)

He reveals a secret way of seeing – and living in – this world. That it is a world of flesh and spirit. That, for the repentant heart, it is a kingdom near at hand. And that, for those who know his secret, he becomes both gate and key.

Still, even seeing that clearly, I fear his kingdom eludes me. At best I am one who treads the rocky ground, enduring only for a little while. At worst, I live among the thorns, where the cares of the world choke the word so it yields nothing.

I pray the Psalm holds hidden meaning:

Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. - Psalm 20:6 (RSV-CE)

Here, the Lord's anointed must be more than just the historic heir to the throne. To the observant Jew, perhaps he is the righteous one or even the entire people of Israel. To the traditional Christian, he is Christ himself. To the Christian mystic, he is the Christ in me.

Thanks to my baptism, I share in the fruit of his Incarnation. His mighty victories are against the enemies of God within my own nature. As he falls, I fall with him that, sharing his nature, I too may rise.

wonderingstill © 2023-2024 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Except where otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1965, 1966 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.