Do You Believe?

 “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” – Jn 9:35

For much of my life, I’ve struggled with being not _______ enough. Not good enough, smart enough, accomplished enough, popular enough, special enough, productive enough, holy enough. The list goes on.

This insatiable demand to make myself be enough has fueled more than a few crusades in my life. Yet, with dizzying consistency, this appetite to be enough makes me blinded to who I truly am. It thwarts my deeper desire to become the person God dreams me to be.

Seeing the gradual liberation of the blind man in today’s Gospel gives me hope. His encounter with Jesus frees him from physical and spiritual blindness. First, he is able to see physically, despite his birth conditions. Then, he is untethered from the religious regulation imposed by Pharisaical laws as well as the spiritual untruth that his condition is a punishment for sins. Moreover, he is freed to place his trust in Jesus as the one who light the path to his true self and true worship. Slowly slowly, he shifts from the paradigm of “I’ll believe it when I see it” to one which affirms “I’ll see it when I believe it.” He becomes are more genuine disciple as he believes in Jesus’ loving and freeing care more than relyin on his worthiness or performance.

For years, I have earnestly tried to pray the words of St. Ignatius’ Suscipe, “Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.” For years, I have focused on the phrase, “that is enough for me.” As I am taught to receive my limitations, to accept my weaknesses, to embrace my blindness, my mind and heart shift to God’s love and God’s grace. Jesus’ question to the blind man, “Do you believe in me?” strikes at heart of faith. At times, I can honestly reply like him, “I do believe, Lord.” At times, I find myself responding, “I am blind, Lord, help my unbelief.” These are more enlightening, life-giving ways to relate to God and to see who I truly am. 

With regards to faith, seeing is not necessary believing. Rather, believing is seeing.

Lord, help me to be honest when I over-rely on myself and ask for the grace to believe in you.