Seeking the Lord in Suffering

Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:

I was feeling fairly well today, and I was glad that I would be able to make the Holy Hour. But when I began to make the Holy Hour, my physical sufferings intensified, so that I was not able to pray. When the Holy Hour was over, my sufferings came to an end, and I complained to the Lord that I had wanted so much to steep myself in His sorrowful Passion, but that my sufferings had not allowed me to do so. Then Jesus said to me, "My daughter, know that if I allow you to feel and have a more profound knowledge of My sufferings, that is a grace from Me. But when your mind is dimmed and your sufferings are great, it is then that you take an active part in My Passion, and I am conforming you more fully to Myself. It is your task to submit yourself to My will at such times, more than at others ..." (1695)

In this passage, St. Faustina complains to Jesus, rather ironically, that her suffering during prayer did not allow her to meditate on His Passion. But Christ says that what she was doing was better than praying about the Passion - through her suffering, she was taking an active part in it.

Our daily sufferings give us an opportunity to unite ourselves more closely to Christ. If only we had the strength and the knowledge to put that mentality into practice, how different our suffering would be.

We have the tendency to separate our spiritual life from our normal daily activities. On the one hand, we go to Mass, pray the Rosary, and volunteer at the soup kitchen. On the other hand, we have the mundane, bringing the kids to school, going to work, making dinner - but we often fail to carry a prayerful mentality with us in everything we do.

Jesus wants all of our life - each breath, each chore, each amusement, each moment of uncertainty, and especially each pain.

When we become sick or overwhelmed with life, sometimes our time in prayer or our attendance at Mass is the first thing to go. But diminishing our time in prayer during trials is the opposite of what we ought to do. When we suffer, we need to seek God even more and try to do His will with even greater resolve.

Sometimes, Satan tries to trick us into believing that we should wait to go to God until we're doing well. But the worse we feel - physically, spiritually, emotionally, or mentally - the more we ought to seek the Lord to give Him our pain.

Like the Lord did with St. Faustina, through our pain, He can make us more holy, more loving - a better version of ourselves.

Jesus says to your heart and mine today: Are you sick, overwhelmed, worried, addicted, grieving, or depressed? Do not let these feelings deter you from coming to me. In fact, the worse you feel, the more I want you here with me. Your sufferings do not make me love you less but more, and I will use your sufferings to lead you to healing and sanctity in this life and the next.

My Prayer: Remind me of Your love, Lord, especially when I feel miserable or sick. Let my feelings never deter me from coming to You and seeking to do Your will. Help me to always follow Your paths, even when it's most difficult, knowing that You have something greater in store for me at the other end. Amen


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