I’m not sure I could have been an apostle. Jesus was kind of a weirdo. From the objective standpoint of a nonbeliever, his words were brash, his actions counter-cultural. He probably looked like a narcissist to some: a charlatan with delusions of grandeur.
And yet, the Apostles loved him. Not only that, they followed him. They said goodbye to family and friends, let go of their worldly possessions, and trudged across Judea doing as he asked.
They listened and watched, of course, and had reason to believe. He multiplied the loaves and fish. He stilled the waters and walked on them. He healed the sick and raised the dead. Pretty much everyone had heard about or seen these things, but only the Twelve stuck around.
They even stayed after the Bread of Life discourse, when Jesus tells the crowd they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. A large crowd of his disciples walked away after this. The Apostles alone remained.
The Apostles trusted and believed without question. Maybe you’re not sure you have the same strength of faith. If you do doubt your share in God’s gracious mercy, don’t stop praying. Here are three prayers for owning a crisis of faith.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Jesus, I believe in Your personal love for one so sinful and worthless as I am
(Repeat after each of the following: Heart of Jesus, I put my trust in You.)
I believe that Your love for me is from all eternity and that it is as tender as a mother’s love.
I believe that You have lovingly and wisely planned everything that shall ever happen to me.
I will never seek pleasure forbidden by You and will never lose heart in my efforts to be good.
I will accept the crosses of life as I accept its joys, with a grateful heart, and I will always pray, “Your holy will be done in all things.”
I will not be worried or anxious about anything, for I know You will take care of me.
However weak or sinful I may be, I will never doubt Your mercy.
In all my temptations…
In all my weakness…
In all my sorrows…
In every discouragement…
In all my undertakings…
In life and in death…
Heart of love, I put all my trust in you; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Your goodness.
St. Padre Pio
O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of Your Church.
Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart, and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross, as we climb the mountain of holiness, carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.
May we receive You with great faith and love in Holy Communion, and allow You to act in us, as You desire, for Your greater glory.
O Jesus, most adorable heart and eternal fountain of Divine Love, may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty of Your Heavenly Father. Amen.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
You don’t have to be an apostle. It’s okay if you question God’s hand. But whatever you do, don’t stop praying:
“A soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer.” –St. Faustina
You will hear him in the end.