Sunday 30 October 2022

Believing with eyes closed


Sister Georgina came to see Father Ignatius in his office. She was a nun living in the Convent nearby and whilst it was not unusual for the nuns to visit the Parish House from time to time this visit was somewhat formal. The nun had phoned the priest that morning and asked him for an appointment.

“Hello Sister … come in … come in …” said the kindly priest, “would you like some coffee … or some tea perhaps!”

“No thank you Father …” she said somewhat shyly as she sat down.

“You know you don’t need to phone to make an appointment …” he said as he closed the door and sat at his desk, “just pop in any time …”

“Well Father … I wanted to make sure you were available … and we would not be disturbed.” She said. “The thing is … I’m finding it very hard believing …”

“Are you having doubts about your Faith Sister?” Father Ignatius asked gently and soothingly.

“No … no … it’s not that. I believe in God and Jesus and the Trinity …” she hesitated, “Can someone be selective in their beliefs?”

“Well Georgina …” he smiled, “it depends on what one is selective about … I do have my doubts about some of the changes we’re making as a Church … What is troubling you exactly?”

“Well Father …”

“Let’s dispense with the formalities for now …” he interrupted.

“Well …” she hesitated again, “for some time now I’ve had great difficulty in believing in the true presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.

“I can’t quite explain it. Did Christ in the Last Supper ask us to celebrate Communion in His memory … or is it really His flesh and blood? And why would He want us to eat and drink His very Being?”

“It is one of our fundamental beliefs as a Church,” said the priest calmly, “one that has been tested and debated for centuries. You’ve no doubt heard of the Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano?”

“Yes Father … but how can I make myself believe?” she replied, “I could shut my eyes tightly and convince myself to believe … but at the end of the day my mind says differently.

“I have no difficulty in believing the existence of God … I accept that as fact. I believe in Christ’s Virgin birth, His resurrection, the Holy Spirit and so on … Somehow these beliefs cause me no difficulties and they are part of my being … they are me and have been me for sometime.

“And I suppose that at some stage I must have believed in the Eucharist too. How could I not have?

“I became a nun … studied for years and took on my vocation … and all was well … Yet now, it’s this one aspect of my Faith that I find difficulty with.”

The priest paused for a while and said a silent prayer before going on.

“We’ve all had our moments of doubts and our little stumbles every now and then …” he said.

“It’s our human nature coming to the fore. We’re programmed to think, to analyze … to ask questions and yes … to doubt too.

“It’s what some people call Free Will … and I’m sure you’ve heard the many debates about that and God’s pre-destination of our lives!”

She smiled as he continued.

“God does not want us to work hard at our beliefs. He does not want us to shut our eyes tightly and convince ourselves to believe in this or in that.

“He understands our struggles between total acceptance and the natural desire to examine and evaluate what we’re told to believe.

“He did make us after all … so He knows what makes us tick and how the cogs in our heads constantly turn.

“What God asks of us is to believe like a child. A child never questions the veracity of what he’s told … he just accepts it.

“There’s no need to believe with eyes tightly shut.

“Just accept … like a child. Trust him … like a child. Love Him … like a child.

“And when your mind questions … as it certainly will … just say … Get behind me Satan.

“Look up at God and pray … I believe, Lord; help my unbelief.”

She left with a much lighter heart and a heavy weight off her shoulders.

REFERENCE: Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano



  1. Dearest Victor,
    Another very well written story about Father Ignatius.
    This is a very touching song that we sang not that long ago with our chancel choir—I BELIEVE:

    1. Thank you Mariette. A wonderful song. A good hymn for today's times. People are finding it so difficult to believe.

      God bless you and Pieter.

  2. Replies
    1. We spend so much time analyzing and thinking it out ... believe like a child.

      God bless always, Sandi.

  3. ...believing can be a personal matter.

  4. I love it when Father I isn't afraid to tackle the HARD questions. Enjoyed the entry. I am learning to smile and say Just get behind me satan. But then I remember what may mama said, "Be careful and don't listen to those whispers from the rear!"
    Love sent from this side, with prayers also....

    1. Our Faith is full of hard questions, Jack; and it is in our nature to question and perhaps sometimes doubt our beliefs. As your dear Mother said, we should be careful of the devil who wastes no opportunity to lead us astray.

      Praying for you and yours. God bless.

  5. Great post, Victor. Oh, to have the faith of a child once more! Insidious, how quickly and quietly I put aside my innocence. Like you said, Satan is roaming freely. We can't afford to give him any attention.

    1. That's true, Mevely; as we grow older it is natural for us to question our faith and what we believe. And the devil takes advantage of our questionings to confuse us even more.

      God bless you and your family.

  6. It is okay to doubt and tell Him so, and keep praying for revelation and believing, like a child, what you can for now. That faith will grow.

  7. Reminding myself to believe as a little child restores my faith, when I waver, like nothing else. Wonderful inspiration here, Victor!

    1. Thank you so much, Martha. Trusting like a child; so difficult often.

      God bless you.



God bless you.