Even this? Even now?
Something to help you learn to adore Jesus….
20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 (NLT2)
The Venerable John of Avila wrote as follows to a priest who so complained to him: “My friend, busy not yourself with what you would do if you were well, but be content to remain ill as long as God thinks fit. If you seek the will of God, what matters it to you whether you be well or ill?”
de Ligouri’s comments hit me hard this morning.
I should be grateful that I can do what I can do… I have friends that both temporarily and permanently are more restricted by issues of health, both physical and mental health.
But de Ligouri goes beyond just being grateful for what we can do, suggesting that we should be grateful for the suffering that stops us, that stops us from living – as least living as we want to live.
I can try to justify my limitations, but rejoicing in them? Rejoicing in the pain, the weariness, the grief, the tears? Rejoice?
That is beyond my ability…..
There has been too much, there is too much..
Until I find myself at the altar, or at the table, or in the bed, and share a prayer with another believer. Or even better, share Christ’s body and blood with another. Until the peace that follows such a moment, where the presence of God is so clearly revealed.
God is surely with those in bed, and has promised to make those moments good for those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. I’ve seen it so many times, that I know it will happen.
It is simple – in those moments, one needs to be encoruaged by God’s faithful, comforting presence. For those there, it is what they have to trust in as well, and encourage the stricken with,
God is here, revel in HIs presence, find your hope, eternal hope in that presence.
There is a point you get too, in the midst of the trial, where God’s presence becomes so real, so true, so comforting… that everything else grows strangely dim, as the hymn tells us, in light of His glory and grace.
If you need someone to sit with you, until that time – that is what pastors and chaplains are for…. and if yours won’t… give me a call.. or message me. You aren’t alone, but sometimes a familiar face helps that reality become revealed.
Alphonsus de Liguori, The Holy Eucharist, ed. Eugene Grimm, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori (New York; London; Dublin; Cincinnati; St. Louis: Benziger Brothers; R. Washbourne; M. H. Gill & Son, 1887), 417.