Thursday, March 19, 2009


I just had the most wonderful revelation, and I'm certain that it came directly from the Holy Spirit. There's no way that I could have figured this one out, and not at this moment. I was sending text messages catching up with a friend and prayer partner who lives in NM who's going through a really rough time with a relationship that he's in. We haven't talked in a little while, but he's a fantastic guy and deserves great things.

I've never had a very deep understanding of the idea that our sufferings are something that we should be thankful for. But I found myself pushing buttons and sending my friend a very long message that did not come from myself about something that until that moment I did not understand. I finally do. I do! I don't know why I didn't see the brilliance and glory of our sufferings before. They're not things to be torn to regret or become hateful over. They are things to rejoice in. It's through our deepest sufferings, in our moments of our worst and most piercing pain that God changes us. Those are the moments when He calls us closer to Himself, draws us in, and reshapes our hearts little by little into who He wants us to be. Because our sufferings are part of God's Divine plan and will, we can know that they must be necessary.

If we believe, through the Natural Law (if you don't know much about this, I suggest reading up on Dr. Charles Rice at Notre Dame-- he's fantastic) that God is a completely logical, rational, and benevolent entity and we also believe that He is omniscient and omnipotent, then we can know in our hearts and minds that any sufferings that He may lead us to endure are out of love. They are to make us grow.

Just think, if things were always simple, easy, and happy wouldn't we forget to appreciate all that He has done for us? And after becoming ungrateful for His love, wouldn't we stop seeking it? Our Father knows what's best for us. He wants us to be happy. And in His omniscience, He knows that the greater happiness lies in a deep, searing, intertwined relationship with Him, not in the worldly happinesses that encompass our entire minds on earth. Although it comes at the price of necessary pain in this world and these lives, God wants to pay our fare through the road to Heaven and His Love. It is through Jesus' earthly suffering that the whole world was purchased. God has opened up the door, but we have to choose to walk over the threshold.

Sufferings are blessings, joys passed down from Heaven that we need only learn to rejoice in and appreciate. If we look at our sufferings as knots in a rope that help us as we draw ourselves nearer and nearer to God, we see the truth. Our sufferings will still hurt just as much, but we can bear them with Grace by acknowledging God's Will in our lives and by offering our hearts up to Him during these, our moments of darkest and deepest despair.

Let us meet our pain head-on, knowing that we will come out the other side more perfect creatures who are coming ever-closer to who God wants for us to become.

I've heard this same thing before out of other's mouths or written words, but I've never understood it in my heart before. I've never embraced it. This, this my friends, is my Lenten miracle. I can now see nothing more beautiful than to suffer for the sake of God. I want to draw so close to Him so as to become one with Him-- and if suffering is the way to do this, I will suffer happily and a thousand times over. I don't mean to say that I will never suffer again or be unhappy again or feel misery or pain again, only that when I do, I will try to be grateful for it. I will remember in my heart that my sufferings were only designed to bring me closer to our Lord. I will see each heartache as a knot in the rope that I am climbing to get to my Beloved Lord. I will thank God not only in my suffering, but for my suffering.

Afterthought: If my lot in life should be to bear the pain of others, I think that I would be in a very difficult connundrum. On the one hand I want to take away the pain of others that they may not have to feel it so strongly or burningly, but on the other, how can I deny them of their opportunity to draw closer??? As I told my friend, I think that I've given up on trying too hard to understand the Will of God and need only to know It. I will trust that He has His own reasons that I simply cannot understand until He gives me the knowledge.

Ok, another afterthought: After I published this I went to try to find an image to put with it. As I went to an already open google image search, the image to the right is what I found. I did not search for it, it came to me. I just realized that this was a miracle and blessing from St. Therese herself. She has always been one of my closest and my darling patron saints, but recently I have become more devoted to her and have been praying for guidance and to know God's will in my life (particularly with my discernment.) And this... this the first of her roses to fall on me. Without knowing it or having studied it yet, I had a revelation of suffering as seen by St. Therese herself that had previously been beyond my grasp but through her intercession to God's grace... I got it! There's really no other way to describe this other than... cool. :o)

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