|Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.|
And so I search, not for answers, but for meaning. Why do we suffer? If there's no purpose then life is meaningless, "full of sound and fury and signifying nothing."
The Catechism says this about suffering:
lllness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death. Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him.But what if it's more permanent than illness? What if it's the pain of Rachel weeping for her child? Is there consolation for that pain? Right now I can't answer that question. When one is in cave darkness, he can't see. Neither can one see in a blinding, dazzling light. Right now, I feel like we're in cave dark. Will we ever see the light again?
As Christians, we say we live in the "light of Christ." But what do we do when that light seems like darkness?
Psalm 34:18 promises that the "Lord is close to the brokenhearted." I accept that on trust because the Lord seems very far away at present. But I'll share a note I received from the Poor Clare Sisters in Alexandria. I depend on their strength when I have none. Here's what they wrote to us:
It is difficult to find words to address the profound sorrow you and your family are experiencing.... All words will fall short and be insufficient. Only the Word of God has the power and the ability to address the situation and that one word is, "Jesus." We cling to this word of infinite mercy and majesty, trusting that He will not let any harm come to a soul that was suffering a sorrow which he could not express.... You are all very close to us in prayer these days.Are you suffering right now? Are you brokenhearted? Know then that I'm praying for you and offering my suffering for you. All of us in the ocean of suffering need one another to keep each other afloat with the lifeline from our Savior.
Lord Jesus, you wept over Lazarus, give us consolation in our suffering
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.