Monday, November 7, 2011

Magical Thinking

We think that if we do the right things, we will be able to trick suffering away from our doors.  Not so.

May God open our eyes and turn us aside from such magical thinking. As a friend of mine used to say, God provides minimum protection but maximum support.


Anonymous said...

Yes. I don't think people realize that it is almost superstitious, that if I do x then y won't occur. I know I fell into that line of thinking when I was married. I believed if I was a devout, church going Catholic, involved in my parish, and prayerful that all would be ok. Well, you know my story. It was only when everything fell apart that I realized what I believed was a False Gospel. There was NOTHING in there that was Scriptural. The reality is that every single one of us has free will and thank God for that! Otherwise our God would be a tyrant who forces His will on us, no better than a rapist. Praise God for our ability to choose, but how sad when we choose evil!
I still am tempted to think like that. And I force myself to stop. I just thank God for what I have and beg him for grace to endure the trials.

Pentimento said...

Praying for you, Anonymous.

It's human nature to think that if we do good things, we'll get good things. One of the ways our faith is radical is that we have a theology of suffering, and also one of mercy.

ex-new yorker said...

Related, and I hope not too much of a tangent -- something I absolutely hate is when people talk about "faith" as meaning belief that you WILL get the outcome you desire in this life. And, thank God I've never been in a comparable situation and I know those who are shouldn't be held up as example of theological error, but when people say they know a deathly ill or severely injured child will recover (in worldly terms) or a mother or father whose family needs them will survive against the odds, because of faith or prayer... One of the problems with that is that it can set up those who suffer for temptations against true faith when the wish doesn't come true.

On the flip side, I'm actually surprised at how well my oldest, as he leaves little boyhood behind, is turning out when there are so many ways he could have had a better Catholic and better woman for a mother. He's using his free will and has other influences besides me, and that can be for the good!