December 21, 2011

A Prayer for Faith (for the Feast of St. Thomas)

Posted in The Eucharist at 5:44 am by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Give to me Thy steadfast shield,
Constant in both grief and bliss.
Unafraid of serpent’s hiss,
When unswerving faith I wield.

Grow me as a lively tree,
Planted by the river deep.
Safe within Thy ample keep,
Bearing fruit to honor Thee.

Grant me Thy best legacy:
When I take Thy sacrament
Teach me ever to repent
Through Thy shepherd’s ministry.

Guide me through the valley dim
Walked by Christ and saints as well.
Take away the fear of hell
Fix my gaze on only Him.

Copyright © 2011 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

We read the story of the apostle who is so often called “Doubting Thomas,” and we get puffed up, thinking we would never have doubted the resurrection. But put the account of St. Thomas in context: Only a few days earlier, St. Peter and St. John had to run and see for themselves when they received the news of the empty tomb. And they had this news from the faithful women who were not afraid to go and face the Roman soldiers in order to complete the proper ministrations to their beloved dead, even though He had told His followers that He would be raised from the dead on the third day. No, indeed. St. Thomas did not corner the market on doubt. His was just a bit more dramatically stated.

What we should remember about St. Thomas is that even though he made bold assertions about needing to touch the Lord’s scars and wounds, as soon as he fixed his eyes on the face of Love, his faith was secure. May we follow his good example in believing in the goodness of God through every circumstance. With Him, may we fix our eyes on Jesus, saying, “My Lord and my God!”

The original version of the poem was written on June 10, 2002, and a revision was made on January 23. 2007. When I went to post the poem this morning, I found some inconsistencies in the imagery, but those are fixed now, at least until the next time.

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