My wife and I were travelling recently in the Mountain Province in the north of the Philippines. It’s still a mission territory but even though there is not always a priest around the people gather every evening for the rosary after they come in from the fields.
We joined them and couldn’t help but notice that most were old and most were women. This is a common sight here as in the western world to see mostly elderly women stoically bolstering the church. I wonder why ?
Clearly the problem cannot be our origin. It is the church started by the Lord Himself. It’s Pope and Bishops successors of Peter and the Apostles. We don’t cater to the shifting sands of public opinion but retain authentic and unchangeable teachings.
The thing is though, faith cannot really be taught, it must be caught. And you can only catch it from someone who has it in the first place. The early days of the church set the tone for this :- ‘These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’’(Mk 16:17) The Acts of the apostles lead us into this demonstration of faith, confirmed by heaven through wonderful signs and wonders of His love and mercy.
Would anyone leave that church? Those early Christians showed that Jesus was a living God, the source of everything we need, not just salvation but everything. Faith became the very centre of their lives, a living faith, an active one, a life of miracles. After all it would be inaccurate to preach a God who is merely a historical figure, or a reclusive or remote Being.
After the Rosary we shared some testimonies about miracles we had seen over the years and my wife gave a talk about praying for healing and we prayed over many who were sick. After that the participants couldn’t wait to go and pray for their sick friends and relatives: an immediate domino effect. One lady, the next morning went to the hospital to pray for her sister who had suffered with Leprosy for some years, it dried up and a few days later her skin was clear, completley healed. Another old lady who attended the talk, who had shoulder pain such that she could not sleep, reported in the morning that the pain was gone and she slept well.
We forget that He is alive. But if we believe, miracles follow.