It’s odd how science & faith are often portrayed as rivals these days, the former being hijacked by atheists and held up as the cleverness of enlightened man to explain all. It is increasingly impressive too.
I find it comical in a way as all we do as scientists is really follow breadcrumbs neatly laid out by our creator so we can make the discoveries He has hidden away in nature. We can use our inquisitive nature to unravel the mind blowing complexities of our world and this ought to lead us directly to Him in an attitude of awe. In this way all discoveries are meant to benefit the human race.
Sometimes however, our reliance on knowledge can also undermine our dependency on God so we don’t look to Him as we should.
Too little attention is paid to following the clues that lead us to discover why we are here in the first place. This field of study too has a trail of breadcrumbs to follow that lead to His throne. The saints point the way and the many movements across the centuries have their own pathways like the desert fathers, Celtic communities, charismatics or the schools of prayer that develop during Marian apparitions. It is up to each individual to pick up the trail head and follow one of the schools of prayer which will deepen knowledge and closeness to God. Then, as with a scientific discovery, we can enter the mysteries and treasury of grace, to come into the fullness of life (John 10:10). The Lord has so much to give to those who want it.
In a way the rigidity of the church, with its obligations and regulations, tends to make many stop at the minimum as if it is the maximum or all there is. Perhaps the growing numbers of prayer groups is a remedy to this blockage in our search for a deeper and fuller walk with God.
Practicing our faith is more than just showing up on Sunday. Often people go to church weighed down with problems and difficulties and after Mass just bring them home again. Can a community develop in the few minutes before or after Mass?
Small groups have advantages in that people can get to know each other and a sense of community forms and praying openly together seems to make people more understanding or compassionate of one another’s difficulties as they intercede for each another. We realise we are not alone and can learn from each other’s experiences.
And the more we pray, the more aligned our prayers become to God’s wishes, the more are answered and this builds faith in communities and confidence in a God who is no longer a remote Sunday morning visitor but an intimate ally.
The prayer group I attend gives an opportunity to lay down one’s burdens and concerns and bring them to God in prayer and miracles happen as the community prays in faith for His intervention. Nothing is off limits, no prayer too big or too small.