Recently, I went to Confession before Mass. I confessed my lack of trust in God as it applies to a current situation in my life. I said that I wanted to run ahead of God and fix things as I saw fit. I told the priest that I didn’t really want to do this, but was so tempted to disregard God in my life and take matters into my own hands. After all, God was taking way too long to make things right from my point of view. I started to cry in front of him when I told him what was going on in my life, and of my great suffering at this time. Instead of a penance, he asked if he could bless me. I have never had this happen to me, ever. Does that mean I didn’t celebrate the Sacrament? Or did he see my extreme internal suffering as penance enough? I don’t know, but I walked out of that confessional with a renewed sense that God was with me in my pain; that maybe it could be used as an offering to Him as a gift.
I have prayed lately that I desire to offer my sufferings to Jesus, in union with His holy cross and His holy passion, as a gift for Him. I know that my little gift of love is imperfect yet He will take it and unite it to His gift of love on the cross so that I am actually offering a perfect gift to Our Heavenly Father. It is then a beautiful thing for God to do with as He pleases. In this way my suffering can be given back as a gift to Him who is all good and desires the good of His people. At times, my internal pain is so deep that I feel God has abandoned me. In my sorrow I have cried out to God and have been comforted from those close to me as I walk my little Via Delorosa. This has been an immense help to me. Even Christ had St. Veronica to wipe His Holy face. These tangible moments of consolation give me hope that what I am currently going through in my life is not in vain and strengthen my faith that God hears me in the worst of my sorrow and suffering.
To be in a state of intense internal suffering while trying to go about living life joyfully and peacefully as a child of God is so very hard to do. Why? I am trying not to ask that question as much anymore because there simply are no answers. I am trying to be more prayerful and devoted to the Catholic faith and what I hope is God’s will. That is the good part. I fall many times on this journey towards God yet I pray He helps me to persevere on this journey so that I can continue to work out my salvation. And that is the struggle. To trust God while undergoing suffering can be very difficult especially when we want comfort, ease, and happiness. The enemy desires our fall. God desires our perseverance, faith, and trust in His Divine Will. Currently, one of my deepest desires eludes me. Sometimes the pain of this lack hurts so deeply in my soul that I never knew how much I had the ability to experience it in this way. It seems non-ending at times. Yet I continue on and pray every day, and every moment when I think of it, for its complete realization. I offer my very breathe to Him who watches over me, praying I am following God’s plan set before me.
Today is another day to grow in faith and learn to wait upon the Lord. Today I will do my best to be more watchful of His graces in my life as He tries to teach me patience, contentment, long-suffering, calmness, peacefulness, and serenity in all things. This is how it should be. We should not look outwardly for our happiness, but from within, from the Holy Spirit who dwells interiorly in our souls. Only God is the source of our every desire and need. It is we who run to this and to that looking for satisfaction. We just need to continue to learn to rest in Him who gives every good thing to His children whom He loves. It is, after all, God who is the Giver and Lover of our souls, the Supreme Joy of our very being. Anything good in our lives is from Him and is a gift for which we must give thanks. Every suffering is an opportunity to turn back to Our Lord and to remember it is He who is the source, not the gift, of all that is good in our lives. We must focus always on God and all the rest will be as joy, pointing us back to Him, our true peace and happiness. This is so hard for us to grasp at times, yet is so simple a concept to attain. I pray that we see that God blesses us richly this day and every day as another gift from Him to renew our love and trust in Him.
Sorrow is a mysterious thing and redemptive suffering can be a blessing for oneself and for others. I offer up my sufferings in union with Your Holy Cross and Your Holy Passion, Dear Lord Jesus Christ. O Lord God, strengthen me lest I mess up Your plans. Amen.