I confuse this Gospel story with the one in St. Mark where Jesus asked the father of a sick son if he believed, and the man answered, “I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.”
For some of us believing can be a constant problem, although apparently it isn’t with everyone. In his novel “The End of the Affair” Graham Greene had a woman who cried out, “I believe. I don’t care if it is three persons in one god or three gods In one person. I just believe.”
Believing is not meant to be a snap. St. Paul in Roman’s Eight said, “We are saved by hope, and if we could see hope’s object it wouldn’t be hope anymore.”
When my class was seventeen, our novice master told us that in praying we should stop doing all the talk. He said we should listen to what God was saying to us. I tried that, but when I didn’t hear what God was saying, I’d use a deep voice to make up what he was saying to me. Playing that game made me so sick that I made up my mind to always be honest about praying.
We can go along with what Paul Newman said in “Verdict.” He was playing Frank Galvin, an alcoholic lawyer, and he said, “In my Faith we say that if you need faith then just act as though you had faith, and faith will be given to you.”
I suppose it is meant to be a struggle. At the end, St. Paul called out, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”