|Albrecht Dürer 1493|
Think of the awesomeness of that. God, in his divinity, can't suffer. He can't weep. He can't "feel sad" or be unhappy. But after the fall of man brought suffering into the world, God wanted us to realize that human suffering has meaning. It isn't pointless. It isn't a waste. It isn't the lying mantra that, "Life's a bitch and then you die." Suffering means something. Even when our hearts rebel against it, we can embrace the pain in the knowledge that God will bring good out of it. Yes, let me say that again. No matter how heart-shattering our grief, God will bring good out of it! My Jesus, I trust in You!
The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became a man -- "like us in all things but sin." He suffered in every way a person can suffer. He suffered physically from the wounds so eloquently witnessed to on the Shroud of Turin. He suffered mentally by the abandonment of his friends and the knowledge that so many would reject him to the point of willingly entering hell rather than accepting His love and mercy. He suffered spiritually, afflicted by the assaults and temptations of the devil with his lies and empty promises.
Jesus suffered to teach us how to suffer. His patience and abandonment to the Father's will during His passion teach us how to walk the royal road of pain and sacrifice even when every footstep is on broken glass. Even as every fiber of our being screams against it. We can still choose God's will, despite having to do it with gritted teeth.
Most of the saints experienced great suffering. Many suffered gruesome torture and death cheerfully. Many preached that suffering was the school of saints. St. Therese of Lisieux called suffering the "very best gift He has to give us. He gives it only to His chosen friends." St. Madeleine Sophie Barat said, "Our Lord who saved the world through the Cross, will only work for the good of souls through the Cross." St. Gerard Majella urged souls saying, "Only one thing is necessary in your anguish: bear everything with resignation to the Divine Will."
|One who loves babies|
is very close to God!
Added to that is the agony of witnessing the suffering of others: the grieving parents, the confused siblings, the aunts, uncles, and cousins all asking "what could I have done to stop it?"
How can one make any sense of it?
And yet the road lies ahead and we all must continue to walk it -- walk through the "valley of the shadow of death." We must walk it in sorrow without our beloved child, grandson, cousin, nephew, friend. Give us the strength and courage to continue the journey, Lord.
The sun came out this morning after a week of torrential rain. It is, for me, a sign of hope. Right now, hope is my lifeline -- and the faith that can't see the end of the story, but trusts in God's promises and His unfathomable love.