Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/26/2016 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

When darkness surrounds us and our soul is blind and restless, we have to go to the Light, like Bartimaeus. Repeat, shout, cry out ever more strongly, Domine, ut videam! - Lord, that I may see. And daylight will dawn upon you, and you will be able to enjoy the brightness He grants you. (Furrow #862)

The same Jesus who passed by Bartimaeus is alive today. The Good News is that no matter what has happened in our past, Jesus walks into the dusty streets of our lives this day. We simply need the eyes of living faith to see Him and the renewed heart to follow Him on the way. Prayer is the fuel which keeps living faith alive and keeps our eyes open to see. Where is Jesus passing through in our own lives? He always shows up for those who have their spiritual eyes opened to see Him. How about in our workplace? How about in our relationships? How about in our families? Are we running out to meet Him?

The healing of the Blind man

The healing of the Blind man

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/26/2016 (4 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Spiritual blindness, healing, Bartimaeus, Blind Bartimaeus, prayer, spiritual life, contemplation, Holy Spirit, lectio Divina, Bible Study, conversion, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In the last chapter of the Gospel of St John we read these intriguing words: 'There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.' (John 21:25)

They underscore the importance of the stories actually recorded in the four Gospels. The people to whom we are introduced have been selected from among many others who encountered Jesus - for a purpose. They can put us in touch with the Lord, with ourselves, with the meaning of our own lives, and with the very purpose for our existence.

Through prayerful reflection, they can become an invitation to ongoing conversion and a portal into a deeper encounter with the Risen Jesus Christ. As we enter into the stories on the pages of the sacred text, the meaning enters into us and enlightens us. Our eyes are opened and we begin to see all of life differently.

St. Jose Maria Escriva once wrote: "I advised you to read the New Testament for some minutes every day, and to enter into each scene and take part in it, as one more of the characters. This is so that you incarnate the Gospel, so that it is fulfilled in your life and make others fulfill it." (Furrow #672).

In the Gospel appointed for the Liturgy of this day we are introduced to St Mark's account of the healing of the Blind Man named Bartimaeus: "As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me."

Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, 'Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. (Mark 10:46-52)

In the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation offered by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church we read some beautiful and encouraging words on how we should approach reading the Bible, "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life." (Paragraph 21)

The insight is a key to reading the Bible fruitfully, in a way which allows us to be read by the author and changed in the encounter.. The Living Word, Jesus, speaks to us through the written word. Understanding the Bible depends upon having a living relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus, the Living Word. Everyone one of us can have that relationship through prayer.

One of my favorite definitions of a theologian is from the early Christian Monk Evagrius of Pontus, a theologian is one who "rests his head on the chest of Christ." The image calls to mind the beloved disciple, John, depicted as doing just that in early Christian art. It speaks of the indispensable prerequisite for any fruitful study of the Bible, a relationship with the Lord in the intimacy of prayer.

This way of encountering the Lord in His Word is cultivated through regular prayer. Theologians use a term, hermeneutic, which bears consideration here. A hermeneutic is a lens through which we view or interpret something of importance.  It allows us to more deeply interpret and appropriate our experience. Living faith is a hermeneutic; it opens our eyes to see life differently.

Living faith enables us to see the hand of the Lord in every circumstance and to stay on the path in our daily lives. Over years of ministry I have had the privilege of praying with many people struggling on many different fronts. I find myself beginning the prayer by thanking the Lord 'for the gift of living faith which opens our eyes to see all of life differently now because of who Jesus is - and who we can become in Him.'

We all blinded by sin. The Sacrament of Baptism was called the Sacrament of the Enlightenment in the early Church for good reason. Yet, we need to keep that light of living faith alive. The beloved disciple John instructs us in his first letter:

"This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth;  but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1: 5-7)

The same Jesus who passed by Bartimaeus is alive. The Good News is that no matter what has happened in our past, Jesus walks into the dusty streets of our lives this day. We simply need the eyes of living faith to see Him and the renewed heart to follow Him on the way. Prayer is the fuel which keeps living faith alive and keeps our eyes open to see.

Where is Jesus passing through in our own lives? He always shows up for those who have their spiritual eyes opened to see Him. How about in our workplace? How about in our relationships? How about in our families? Are we running out to meet Him? St Escriva wrote in the Furrow:

"When darkness surrounds us and our soul is blind and restless, we have to go to the Light, like Bartimaeus. Repeat, shout, cry out ever more strongly, Domine, ut videam! - Lord, that I may see... And daylight will dawn upon you, and you will be able to enjoy the brightness He grants you." (Furrow #862)

Isaac of Ninevah, an eighth century monk, Bishop and theologian, wrote:"When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he is eating or drinking or sleeping or whatever else he is doing, even in deepest sleep, the fragrance of prayer rises without effort in his heart."

"Prayer never again deserts him. At every moment of his life, even when it appears to stop, it is secretly at work in him continuously, one of the Fathers, the bearers of Christ, says that prayer is the silence of the pure. For their thoughts are divine motions. The movements of the heart and the intellect that have been purified are the voices full of sweetness with which such people never cease to sing in secret to the hidden God."

Through prayer daily life can become a classroom of communion. In that classroom we learn the truth about who we are - and who we are becoming - in Jesus. Through prayer we receive new glasses through which we see the true landscape of our daily life. Through prayer darkness is dispelled and the path of progress is illuminated.

Through prayer we begin to understand why this communion seems elusive at times; as we struggle with our own disordered appetites, and live in a manner at odds with the beauty and order of the creation within which we dwell - only to find a new beginning whenever we confess our sin and return to our first love. Prayer opens us up to Revelation, expands our capacity to comprehend truth and equips us to change as we cooperate with grace.

Through prayer we are drawn into a deepening relationship with Jesus whose loving embrace on the hill of Golgotha bridged heaven with earth; His relationship with His Father is opened now to us; the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead begins to give us new life as we are converted, transfigured and made new.

Through prayer heavenly wisdom is planted in the field of our hearts and we experience a deepening communion with the Trinitarian God. We become "partakers of the divine nature." (2 Peter 1:4) Though that participation will only be fully complete when we are with Him in the fullness of His embrace, in our Resurrected Bodies and in a New Heaven and a New Earth, it begins now, in the grace of this present moment.

God holds nothing back from those whom He loves. He gives us the Holy Spirit, which is His very life and energy. He invites us to to cultivate and grow in the living faith which can transform our lives and our very characters. He enlists us in His ongoing mission. All of this progresses as we say yes and encounter Jesus Christ, in ever new and powerful ways.  Living faith mediates the mystery of God's loving plan and opens our spiritual eyes to see the Lord who is walking by in our own daily lives.

Let us cry out with Bartimaeus, Lord That I May See. The same Jesus who opened His eyes will open the eyes of our hearts. -----Deacon Keith A. Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A member of the clergy, a Roman Catholic Deacon, he is also a constitutional/ human rights lawyer and public policy advocate who served as the first and founding Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice in the nineteen nineties. He has long been active at the intersection of faith, values and culture. Deacon Fournier is also a Senior Contributing Writer for THE STREAM

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Living Faith

What is an Archangel? Watch

Image of The three Archangels mentioned in the Bible are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is an archangel? This is a common question. Simply put, an archangel is an angel of high rank. Three are mentioned in the Bible. Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael. The Archangels are offices of high stature in heaven. These three angels mentioned in ... continue reading


Celebrate St. Michael the Archangel's feast day at one of his beautiful shrines Watch

Image of Celebrate St. Michael's feast day by visiting one of his most magnificent shrines.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

St. Michael's feast day is September 29 - so what are you doing to celebrate? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Michael the Archangel is the leader of all angels in the army of God.He is the patron saint of soldiers, doctors, mariners, grocers, paratroopers, ... continue reading


The homeless embark on pilgrimage to meet Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Francis always has time for the poor, the broken and the homeless.

By Hannah Brockhaus (CNA/EWTN News)

Tanya Cangelosi never imagined that she would one day be bringing homeless people on pilgrimages to Rome. And Shyla Montoya never thought that she would someday go on a pilgrimage to Rome. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - But earlier this month, that is exactly ... continue reading


Buy a car used by Pope Francis! Online auction for charity Watch

Image of Who will win the auction?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

How much would YOU pay for a vehicle used to transport the Holy Father? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When Pope Francis paid Kraków a visit for World Youth Day, he was driven around in Volkswagen Golf cars - each of which is on the auction block.The three ... continue reading


Celebrate St. Teresa of Avila's feast day with special items Watch

Image of St. Teresa of Avila's feast day is October 15.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

St. Teresa of Avila's feast day will be celebrated October 15, so be sure to get your prayer cards, medals, pendants and more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Teresa of Avila is the patron saint of Spanish Catholic writers and those who suffer headaches.She was ... continue reading


Martyred priest declared 'Blessed' by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Father Engelmar Unzeitig.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Father Engelmar Unzeitig was interred in the Nazi concentration camp Dachau. He was recognized as a martyr and, on Sunday, was beatified by Pope Francis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fr. Unzeitig was arrested by Nazis in 1941, at only 30-years-old. He had only ... continue reading


Pope Francis names Texas bishop-elect Watch

Image of Pope Francis has selected Msgr. Robert Milner Coerver the bishop-elect for Lubbock, Texas.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis has named Msgr. Robert Milner Coerver, a parish priest from the Diocese of Dallas, as the new bishop-elect for Lubbock, Texas. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Msgr. Coerver, pastor of St. Rita Parish in Dallas, will ... continue reading


'The church stays close to you' - Pope Francis welcomes victims of Nice attack at Vatican Watch

Image of Pope Francis welcomed victims of Nice attack.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis welcomed relatives of the victims of the Nice, France attack on Saturday to encourage them to resist the need to "respond to hatred with hatred and to violence with violence." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic Herald, Pope ... continue reading


'The lack of exorcists is a real emergency' - More people dabbling in black magic and other pagan arts Watch

Image of Exorcists are busy fighting the devil while more people practice black magic.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

There has been a rise in pagan activity among the masses, leading to a shortage of exorcists in the United States and Italy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Experts from the Catholic Church in Italy and the United States revealed a desperate spiritual fight as more ... continue reading


'Dear President Obama:' 6-year-old's letter inspires the nation Watch

Image of We can all learn from Alex.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A six-year-old boy named Alex witnessed the heartbreaking images of children in Aleppo, Syria. One picture in particular caught his eye and, unable to stand by and do nothing, penned a letter to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The image ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
9 While I was watching, thrones were set in place and one most venerable ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, John 1:47-51
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, 'There, truly, is an ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 29th, 2016 Image

St. Michael the Archangel
September 29: Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but ... Read More