By Msgr. David Baumgartner

Sacred Heart Catholic Church  

Here is a thought from Deacon Pete’s homily last week: We are the prodigal son. We have rejected the Father and driven him out of our schools, governments, marriages and families. The Father waits for us with open arms. 

  How many ways is there to do something? I am working on a little project with wood and metal. I roamed the isles of a hardware store trying to figure out how to make one board hinged to another stand straight, liking opening the lid of a cedar chest and having it remain open without falling. I brainstormed with the hardware guy and came up with several options, none of which seemed perfect. So, I roamed the isles, looking at everything and asking of each item, “Can you do this for me?” It seemed a ridiculous question to ask a rolling pin and the propane heater. Finally, my eyes fell on an item called, “Lid support.” It was the one thing in the store that was made for the job. Eureka! 

  With every struggle and trial in life, we need the perfect hardware to help us through. We can turn to things that are not designed for the task. We ask friends for advice, and they offer solutions that may work but are far from perfect. If you are lonely, eat your favorite dessert. If you are suffering, distance yourself from the problem. If you are suffering pain, have a drink. None of these are perfect, so we continue to roam the isles of life looking for the one thing made for the job. It exists. That one thing is faith. 

  Faith is to invite Jesus to work in us and then think along with God. Faith reminds us that we need to flee from dessert escape to the desert from time to time for personal prayer. In the desert we realize that the emptiness in life is a spiritual awareness that we are incomplete. The loneliness is the soul’s awareness that we long for heaven. We are not to flee from suffering; we are to be Simon and help Jesus carry the cross—or more accurately, invite Jesus to carry our cross.

  Faith is like the perfect tool. Some days we need to discover it again. Some days we need to remember where we put it. Every day we need a few moments in the desert of prayer and the project of our life will turn out perfectly.