O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
Major Blass Vivar: There is only a small French Garrison in Torrecastro. The people of the town know the legend, secretly believe it. As soon as we raise the banner over the little chapel, the people will rise up against the French invader.
Lt. Sharpe: Rise up? For a rag on a Pole? Are you mad Major?
Louisa: It’s a legend Mr. Sharpe the People believe in it
Shapre’s Rifles 1993
In her piece about the historic prayer service today that will be offered at the Vatican today with Pope Francis, Shimon Peres, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (along with late addition Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople ) Elizabeth Scalia notes the skepticism as the the utility of these prayers as a reflection of Christian skepticism with their own faith:
But we don’t really believe that, do we? Even as so many Christians pretend that “meh, he didn’t really mean what he said about marriage,” and divorce again and again, or “meh, he couldn’t possibly have meant what he said about his Flesh and Blood” and therefore dismiss the Eucharist, we don’t really believe that he was pitching blarney on something as basic to the life and practice of faith as the power of prayer, do we?
If so, what was the point of his teachings? Why bother with the whole bloody sacrifice and resurrection and all the subsequent martyrdoms and miracles, if Christ’s discourses were nothing but fillers for a bad spiritual salami, comprised of 90% faith by-products, and prayer had no truck with the Father?
That’s the question isn’t it? Do we say these words, to we talk a good game in public but when it comes down to it do we believe or do we not.
It’s easy to be skeptical, to look at the Pope and critique his declaration on the family and scoff at this effort that, as Elizabeth says affirms the common humanity of all the parties involved.
But it’s even easier to scoff at them coming together and calling on the one God for aid.
To the Christians, the Jew and the Muslim who all profess belief in God to deny the significance and the power of such prayer is to deny their own faith, to deny themselves.
To the skeptic, I leave this quote from the third Godfather Movie:
Michael Corleone: What is the point of confessing if I do not repent?
Cardinal Lamberto: I hear you are a practical man. What have you got to lose, eh?
Planting a seed does not produce an orchard the next day, but planting a seed is the first step to create one.
A seed will be planted today, how well it grows will depend on those who planted it, and the faith and the works of their people.