Faith is our positive thinking Print E-mail
Written by Jean Denton   
Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016

Twenty-seventh Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Luke 17:5-10

When Jesus walked the face of the earth, the science of psychology hadn't yet been invented. Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis wouldn't come along for another 1,800 years. But this week's Gospel shows Jesus way out on the cutting edge of what the psychological world calls the power of positive thinking. The spiritual world calls it faith.

Jesus tells his followers they can accomplish unimaginable feats "if you have faith the size of a mustard seed." He uses a bit of hyperbole -- being able to uproot a large tree by a simple voice command -- to explain that faith can strengthen us to overcome normal human limitations when we face challenges in life.

Today, psychologists continue to examine the effects of positive attitude. For instance, much has been written about improved responses to medical treatment credited to the positive mindset of patients. In one article, noted author and medical doctor Deepak Chopra suggested the "placebo effect" (improvement in patients given a placebo when they believed they received a prescription drug) showed that positive thinking could produce a positive physical response.

"Expectations are powerful," he pointed out. "If you think you've been given a drug that will make you better, often that is enough to make you better."

Although he concedes that medical research has found no proof that positive thinking can actually cure disease, Chopra emphasizes, "The real point isn't to rescue a dying patient but to maintain wellness."

That's the real point for Jesus, as well.

Just as positive thinking is a source of strength for someone battling illness, faith gives us strength and hope in the "wellness" of God's spirit with us when we struggle.

Even more thousands of years before psychology, the prophet Habakkuk told us to seek God's positive promise when we are troubled: Write down the vision clearly, so you can read it, he said. "[It] will not disappoint … it will surely come."

Whoever relies on God's vision, he added, "because of his faith, shall live."

Faith, in fact, employs positive thinking. However, it is more. It opens our spirit to the vast possibilities of our life in God -- where we will be rescued from dying.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: September 2016 Print E-mail
September Universal Intention

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.

September Evangelization Intention

Mission to Evangelize. That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2016.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Friday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 5
Ascension Thursday
Monday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Tuesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Thursday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Sunday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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