Wed. Oct 21st, 2020

We hear the story of the three faithful Jews who refuse to offer sacrifice to the pagan god of King Nebuchadnezzar from the Book of the Prophet Daniel during the fifth week of Lent.
The king threatens them with death by throwing them into a white hot furnace, and taunts the young men by asking what god could save them from that. In response young Jews answer, “If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may He save us! But even if He will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up.”
I was very struck by their attitude. They will believe in God and praise Him even if God chooses to not save them from their impending death. Sometimes when I pray, I find myself asking God for something and it becomes almost a litmus test in my mind or heart. Maybe it’s a test of His existence. Maybe it’s a test of His power. Maybe it’s a test of His love. Maybe you have a hint of the same sentiments in your heart when you pray.
When I find that sentiment in my heart I remind myself that I am a child and God is my father. I trust Him, and I cannot fathom His plans. Imagine a child going to the doctor with her father. They are there for a round of inoculations. Imagine that the child turns to her father and says, “Daddy, if you loved me you wouldn’t let that lady stick that needle in me.” My dear child, it is because I love you that I am allowing this to happen.
I pray for many things and people. Currently, I pray fervently for an end to the spread of the Coronavirus and for health of all, especially my loved ones. I also try to make an act of faith in Our Father who is holding all of us in the palm of His hands. May this time be time of grace and conversion for our world.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at
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