Faith When In Suffering

Parents, in the great work of love and wisdom, shield their children as best they are able from the pain and sufferings that are either their own, or the sufferings of the world at large.  There is a certain detachment from  the sufferings that go on.

The connection to the suffering that occurs around us changes as we age, and it comes to effect us more as we age due to the fact that we come to understand what that suffering means, and how it then effects the others who are connected to the event that causes that suffering.  It is at times directly related to how close we feel to the event and the people involved.

The changes that occur in our lives, our loves, and our losses, and tragedies  that are inevitable may at some point cause the people involved to stop and consider their lives, and more importantly their faith.

If they do not have an active faith life, then it might cause you to consider your faith and what it means to you, and more importantly, in despair, cause you to question, where is God in the course of your suffering and pain ?    Why did He not perform a miracle for you ?  Why is there suffering at all for that matter ?

Tragedy is probably the biggest thing in life to cause people to stop and examine their lives and faith.  To this end I would like to take a moment to give you some things to consider.

Central to our faith is the story of Jesus and of Mary.  We have no greater example of tragedy, suffering, and faith, than we do in the story of the Pascal Mystery, the life , death, and resurrection of our Lord.

First lets look at Jesus.  Jesus was true God and true man, meaning that he had all the human experiences, while still divine. He still learned about his human existence the way other children do.  At some point He knew it was time to leave home.  He knew that it was the beginning of the end of His earthly journey.   Sure, there was His public ministry that was to begin and there were many things He had yet to do, but He still knew what was to come.

He suffered rejection, even in His hometown, insults, and hatred from others of faith.  He moved forward teaching the gospel of Love.

Finally after the Last Supper, He was betrayed by one of His friends, and He went out in His hour of need,  He asked God that if it were possible for that cup to pass Him by, then that was what He was praying for, BUT in the end he offered up his obedience and said not Jesus’ will, but that of God the Father be done.   Then, upon the cross Our Lord asked the Father why had he been abandoned.     He knew ! He knew that he would be in Heaven Just as he told the thief Diamas ( or Dismas) that he would be with Jesus in paradise.

 

Now, let us turn to Mary.  Mary is the super Mom. She is all about Jesus from the very beginning , from the Magnificat, all the way to her assumption.  Super human in her capacity for suffering and love ; for her love of God, for her faith, for her husband, and  for Jesus.

Consider for a moment her level of suffering from the beginning.  She said yes, at the Magnificat.  She said yes with the knowledge that she would suffer ridicule, insult and possible death for being an unwed mother.  She had suffering in the carrying of the child and the journey to the census.  She had suffering in childbirth in less than idea surroundings.

She had fear and suffering when they lost  Jesus in the caravans and joy at  having found Him again.  She suffered unimaginably in the passion and crucifixion.

Finally, she suffered again, when she went to Jesus tomb, and the tomb was empty.   She cried, and thought she had lost him, that they had moved his body.  She was again filled with joy at seeing Him resurrected.

In these stories we can see that we are NOT alone in our suffering, we are not alone in asking questions !  Mostly, you are not alone in love and in faith.   You can see that Mary and Jesus both suffered  and asked questions.  Most importantly, you can see that in the end of things Jesus rose from the death, defeating evil once and for all, and although there may be suffering in the world there is most certainly Joy and most certainly that God loves you and has never left you.

” The Lord is good and giveth strength in the day of trouble: and knoweth them that hope int he Lord.”  Nahum 1:7

 

 

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