For some thoughts on forgiveness, check out the blog
Who can prevent the storms in life? No one. Nothing primes us to acknowledge the presence of God in our lives like our needs. In his mercy God draws us closer to the knowledge of him through what he allows to happen. 'At that time something greater comes to meet us something greater than anything we can think of for ourselves.' JPII. God challenges us to go deeper into faith. In that deeper faith there is a type of knowledge that will be new to us. We belong more to God when we make use of what he offers us. An hold hymn speaks of this when the author writes, "Nearer, ,my god, to thee, nearer to thee. Even though it be a cross that lifteth me.'
Some sufferings happen by God's providence, intended by Him to prevent us from falling into sin. He is guiding everything by His wisdom, His providence and His love. Blessed be God forever.
It seems that we can see suffering in two ways. One is to see that suffering has a purpose, the other would be to see it as having no purpose. Calvary teaches us the difference. The thief on the left of Jesus suffered just as much as the thief on the right. The thief on the left started and ended his crucifixion with a curse. He never joined his suffering with Christ. The thief on the right saw meaning in his pain. He saw that if pain had no reason, that you Christ would have never embraced it. If the cross had no purpose, you Christ, never would have climbed it. He submitted to the purpose for which Christ permitted pain to come to him. It was to lead him to you. Teach me submission to your holy will, give me strength to pick up my cross and follow you. For pain is not unbearable, but the failure to understand its meaning is unbearable. Do not take me off the cross, but take me up to you where I can accept life with its sorrows and joys willingly. It is not for me to question your divine plan, but to align my will with yours. As St. Augustine says, 'The possesion of you is my end in life. Thou has made us for thyself, O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.'
Help me to see your kind hand on me in all that happens to me. I believe in your love for every being that you have created. Our lives are extreme gifts to us. We are created by love to learn to love in the way that Christ's loves the church The passion on the cross is suffering and the greatest love ever. This is a paradox that we Christians live with. Lord, I give you my suffering in living obedience. I put all my liberty into your divine freedom with no thought of where you lead me.
My God I believe in you. I adore you. Strengthen my faith All my hopes are in you: secure them.
"I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect........so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another." Romans 12:1-2, 5
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see" Mark Twain
A few months ago, I asked one of my six grandsons what he liked best about this school year. He replied, my teacher. I asked him what is was that he liked about his teacher. He said, she is kind. He had such softness in his eyes. I will always remember that exchange as it was so poignant, and it also lead to the title of my new web site. This particular young man is a scholar, however I was thinking about how important it is for those students who have learning disabilities or emotional problems to have a kind teacher. What a blessed environment to learn in. Many of the people that I have worked with in the past 30 years have not had parents, teachers or significant people in their lives that were kind. This has created many problems that are addressed in counseling sessions, and therefore kindness is a solution to many peoples problems. One of those solutions is learning to be kind to ourselves, not in a selfish way, but to treat ourselves with the same love and kindness that Christ has asked us to give to ourselves and one another. nf