Many people like mysteries, dramas on TV, books by mystery writers, and so forth. But these mysteries always have a solution, usually with the good guys coming out on top. But where we don’t like mysteries is in our Christian faith. It is the reason the “why” question comes up so often. Why did God do this or allow that? Or in our sacraments. Jesus said “this is my body, this is my blood”, but we want to explain if or how it really is. It is hard for us to take God at his word, and trust that what He says is true without an explanation. It all began back in the Garden. God said “don’t eat of the tree” and we wanted to know why. But the heart of faith is taking God at His word, trusting Him, and believing He is our good Father.
I’ve always found prayer a mystery. Being mechanically inclined, I want to know how things work, but prayer has remained a mystery. Are we convincing God to do something He would otherwise not do? I don’t that that is true. Are we somehow focusing God’s grace on the area of our concern. Maybe, but again a mystery. I think the point is that we don’t need to know how it works. We know that it does. Our Lord has taught us to pray. He has told us to continue in prayer. We have seen answers to our prayers enough times that we know it is all true. Further, we are told to pray with thanksgiving. That is, we pray believing that God does hear us, even the deepest unspoken prayer of our hearts, and thanking Him that He has called us to come and join our life to His. Prayer will remain a mystery, and I confess that I’m not that good at it. But we have a God who calls us to come Him with all of our sorrows and joys, all of our needs and praise, putting our life and the lives of all we care about into His hands in trust. That really is all we need to know.