‘We Need to Believe’

The following excerpt comes from the new Marian Press book After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You by Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, and Jason Lewis, MIC.

Two years in the making, the book honestly and pastorally addresses the hard issue of suicide and draws from teachings of the Church, the message of Divine Mercy, and Fr. Chris’ own experience of losing his grandmother to suicide.

Can I Make A Difference? Yes. The perfect example of this is the Gospel story where Jesus heals the paralyzed man (see Mt 9:1-8; Mk 2:1-12). Four men wanted to bring their friend to the feet of Jesus because they believed He could heal the man. The crowds in the house, however, were too large to permit them to reach Him. Undeterred, they lowered the sick man on his bed through the roof down to the feet of Jesus.

They had faith, and with faith, Jesus says we can move mountains. When they got the man to Jesus, He immediately healed him. But what did Jesus say? Did He credit the paralytic’s faith as the reason for his healing? No. 

Scripture says, “And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven’” (Mt 9:2; emphasis added). It was because of the faith of the four men that Jesus was able to work this miracle. So your faith can help those God places on your heart who are in need of healing and even salvation! Jesus wants to bless every person in every way possible, even if it is through someone else! But we need to believe.

God doesn’t automatically bring a greater good out of evil. In fact, evil usually just breeds more evil. Think, for instance, of the fact that people who are bullied often become bullies themselves. Or think of the evil we’re dealing with in this book, the evil of suicide. Studies show that such an act often leaves other evils in its wake: more acts of suicide, broken marriages, alcohol or drug abuse, loss of faith.

In short, evil often leads to an ongoing cycle of evil.

Here’s one thing, however, that can break that cycle of evil: Divine Mercy. As we’ve learned, God has the power to bring greater good out of evil, and that power is called Divine Mercy.

But again, the power of Divine Mercy to bring good out of evil is not automatic. It requires something on our part, something that unleashes its power.

What is it?

It’s called our faith, also known as trust.

Here’s how one of my fellow Marian priests [Fr. Michael Gaitley in his book 33 Days to Merciful Love] reflects on the idea that faith and trust unleash the power of Divine Mercy:

Why couldn’t Jesus work many miracles in his hometown of Nazareth? (See Mk 6:5.) Remember that? All he could do was small miracles, like maybe healing somebody’s ingrown toenail. But why couldn’t he work the big ones? It was because of people’s lack of faith. Think of it! The all-powerful God-man, the one who walks on water, casts out demons, and heals the deaf and the blind — that great man, in a certain sense, is powerless when we don’t give him our faith! But it’s faith, it’s trust, that unleashes the power of his mercy. That’s why St. Thérèse so emphasized trust. That’s why Jesus asked St. Faustina to paint an image of Divine Mercy with the signature, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

So why does Jesus want us to trust in Him? Why does He want us to have faith? So He can have mercy on us. It’s so His mercy can bring not just good out of the evil in our lives, but an even greater good. 

But will we let Him? Will we give Him our trust? 

Those are key questions.

Of course, a tragedy as terrible as suicide can test our faith and make it difficult to trust in God. So if we are struggling with unbelief, what do we do? Again, we can turn to Scripture. In Chapter 9 of the Gospel of Mark, the father of a boy troubled with an unclean spirit cried out to Jesus, “Lord, help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24). Why did he bother to do this? Because he had hope, an expectation, that Jesus would help him — help him to believe. That is the power of hope. Hope is the key to help us deal with the life-altering tragedies we are forced to endure.   

To order After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You, visit ShopMercy.org/hope or call 1-800-462-7426 (Product code: FM-ASTH).


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