Jesus told us, In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world. And so when we hear news of sin, scandal, or confusion in the world we can find our peace in the Lord and His Church. But what about the times when the sin, scandal, or confusion are in the Church? How can we keep the faith and maintain our peace if we are fearful of things that are taking place between members of the Church?
Recently on The Patrick Madrid Show, Patrick shared some guidance and his own perspective on how to not let fear, confusion, or anger interfere with our relationship with Christ.
“Yes, there are dark days in the Church from time to time, and maybe whole epochs of difficulty and darkness in the Church,” he acknowledged. “But the Church always comes through.”
Patrick said one Scripture passage he turns to is when Jesus and the apostles were caught in a boat on a storm, and it looked like the boat would be swamped by the storm.
“The apostles were freaking out, and Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat,” Patrick recounted. “They wake Him up and say, ‘Lord, don’t you care that we’re about to drown?’ And He calms the storm. And then He says, ‘Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?'”
“I like to come back to that happy note, because it gives us the positive hope and encouragement that we all need, no matter what may happen in the Church. Things could get really weird. Or maybe they’ll get better. But Jesus is always with His Church, even when it seems like He’s asleep.”
Patrick pointed out that had the apostles abandoned hope and taken their chances in the sea, they would have been lost. But instead they ran to Jesus in their time of trouble, and even though they were fearful Jesus still worked in their life and calmed the storm.
Patrick said. “I want to weather the storm on the barque of Peter. I don’t want to jump overboard, I’m not going to go after any of the officers of the ship, I just want to be a loyal son of the Church and trust in Jesus to do what I can and keep pressing on, regardless of what happens.”
Patrick explained that another key thing that helps him keep the faith despite what happens in the Church or in the world is to discern what you have control over and what you do not. If we spend all of our mental and emotional energy worrying about things that we can’t control, rather than focusing on the things we do have control over, we can miss the opportunity to fulfill the mission the Lord is calling us to.
“The best thing you and any of us can do is we just have to trust in the Lord, do our best, remain faithful, be close to Jesus, read the Holy Bible, read the Catechism, know our faith, teach the faith,” Patrick said. “Because God is in charge of all this, and I have no power over any of it, nor do you. So it doesn’t benefit you or me to wring our hands and fret and fume. That doesn’t do anyone any good. So rather than get agitated about all these things, my view is let’s just press onward Christian soldiers.”
“As you know, God is not surprised by any of this. He’s not like, ‘What’s going on down there?’ He knows all that’s going to happen from all eternity. He knows all of this stuff. And He created you and me and everyone listening right now to be alive at this very time for a reason. So we’re here not by accident, we have a role to play, we have a purpose to serve. So I’d like to, in a friendly way, exhort you, myself and all of us to see this as an opportunity for Christian heroism, not something to be afraid of, not something to lose our joy over. But to make us better apostles, closer to Jesus.”
Listen to the full conversation below: