Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This morning's Divine Intimacy meditation really struck me. Though there are some really big differences between Catholics and Christians -- like Sacraments and Transubstantiation -- this, this is quite at the root.

What I mean by that: one day at work my mother's co-worker commented on her crucifix on a chain around her neck. She was a fundamental Christian and she mentioned that "Christians" (because she also did not believe, somehow, that Catholics are Christians) don't wear crucifixes because they don't believe Christ is still on the cross.

My mother patiently explained that Catholics most definitely do not believe that Christ is still on the cross. No, we most definitely believe he rose from the dead, but through the cross we are redeemed. That is really such a fundamental part of being Catholic. We believe in redemptive suffering -- that real good can come from real bad.

I am posting just part of today's meditation, but I think you'll see what I mean.

"Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature, without allowing ourselves to be depressed by the sadness which easily comes over us when we meet with disagreeable things.

Patience is a special aspect of the virtue of fortitude which prevents our deviating from the right road when we encounter obstacles. It is an illusion to believe in a life without difficulties. These are usually all the greater and the more frequent as our undertakings are more generous. Great works, magnanimous and heroic virtues, always grow in the midst of difficulties. In the presence of these, fortitude has a double function: to face them and to bear them. Many difficulties are surmounted and overcome by an act of courage; others, on the contrary, cannot be mastered. We must learn to bear with them, and this is the role of patience -- an arduous task, because it is easier to face obstacles directly, than to support the inevitable oppositions and sufferings of life, which, in time, tend to discourage and sadden us.

Whoever wishes to become patient, must, first of all, look at the motives for suffering in the profound light of faith. This superior illumination will make the soul understand that everything that happens in life is always permitted by God, and is solely for its good. It is true that very often suffering and hardships come to us through secondary causes; but that makes little difference when we realize that everything comes from our loving Father in Heaven, who uses these painful circumstances to help us to become more virtuous. If we wish to live only for God, we must never stop to consider the human causes of our sufferings, we must accept all from His hands, simply repeating: "Dominus est!" It is the Lord!

This acceptance does not prevent us from feeling, even deeply feeling, the weight of suffering -- Jesus, also, felt it in His agony in the Garden of Olives -- but it does help us to be undisturbed, to preserve peace and serenity, to maintain self-control and, consequently, to be patient.

In order to be begin to practise patience, we must try to bear daily annoyances and sufferings resignedly, without complaint, knowing that divine Providence does not permit any trial that will not be a source of good for us. In the beginning, and even for a long time, we may experience a great repugnance for suffering. Nevertheless, if we try to accept it as we should, with constancy, peace, and submission to the divine will, we shall gradually be cognizant of the great spiritual profit that flows with it; we shall feel more detached from creatures and from ourselves, and closer to God. Then shall we come to value suffering spontaneously; and later, having experienced its spiritual fruitfulness more completely, we shall finally come to love it.

But let us have no illusions: the love of suffering is the summit of patience; it is the fruit of patience brought to perfection. To reach this height, we must begin with a much humbler practice; that is, the peaceful and uncomplaining acceptance of everything that makes us suffer.

O Jesus, for love of You and with Your help I wish to suffer in peace all the contradictions of my life. 'Your thoughts are not our thoughts, Your ways are not our ways. You offer us a cup so bitter that our feeble nature cannot bear it. But I do not want to draw back my lips from the cup prepared by Your hand. You have taught me the secret of suffering in peace. Peace does not mean joy, at least not sensible joy; to suffer in peace, all I have to do is to will all that You will.

'It is very consoling for me to remember that You, the God of might, knew our weaknesses, that You shuddered at the sight of the bitter cup which earlier You had so ardently desired to drink.

'In spite of this trial which robs me of all sense of enjoyment, I can still say: 'You have given me, O Lord, a delight in Your doings.' For is there any greater joy than to suffer for Your love, O my God? The more intense and the more hidden the suffering, the more do You value it. And even if, by an impossibility, You should be aware of my affliction, I should still be happy to bear it, in the hope that by my tears I might prevent or atone for one sin against faith' (St Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Letters, 63,51,184,49 - Story of a Soul, 9).



  1. That is truly the best thing I have read in a long time. My childhood and teenage years were spent mostly in a fundamentalist Christian environment. I have often heard expressed what your mother's coworker said about the crucifix she wore. Later I became entangled in the false teachings of the "prosperity gospel", until I realized that some of the most godly people I knew were suffering greatly. The book of Job stands as a silent rebuke to those who believe that the righteous are always rewarded with health and wealth. The crucifix is the greatest contradiction to that false teaching. Thnak you for blessing us with this excerpt today!

  2. I thought so, too, Jamie, which is why I shared.

    Thank you for your witness, Rosemary. I often feel so badly for people who see no value in suffering, who say a good God would not allow it. We must have patience to endure, but our reward is great.

  3. So true! so true! Patience, is exactly what I've been working on through Lent this season. I have been fasting from quick negative responses both in my and body - there are a few in my life that tend to egg my impatience on...it's a work in progress!...but with God all things are possible and I have made progress, thanks be to God!
    Blessings, Denise

  4. So true! so true! Patience, is exactly what I've been working on through Lent this season. I have been fasting from quick negative responses both in my and body - there are a few in my life that tend to egg my impatience on...it's a work in progress!...but with God all things are possible and I have made progress, thanks be to God!
    Blessings, Denise


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!