A New Day

Yesterday presented great challenges for me to see beauty in my suffering. And as the sun is just beginning to rise here in Nashville, I welcome a chance to hope for a brighter day. A great friend and my sister Clare challenged me yesterday to pick up my cross, thank God for it and ask Him to place it squarely on my shoulders. But the challenge lies  in not just carrying it, but carry it with love. To truly see the beauty in it, to see it as a gift from God. And that requires great grace, which is something that is never earned, but simply given to us by an all-loving Father.

Suffering is a mystery. And one will never fully comprehend it until Heaven. I was blessed three years ago to spend a summer in Kolkata, India serving with the Missionaries of Charity, the order of Sisters started by Blessed Mother Teresa. While there I read a great deal about Mother Teresa by her tomb. One particular quote from her became one of my favorites – Mother said, “Suffering is nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that He can kiss you. Suffering is a gift from God.”

Such purity and beauty radiating from the lips of a saint. A woman that now beholds the beatific vision for all eternity. And how can I not strive to see beauty in suffering with such a beautiful example from one of my favorite saints?

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2 thoughts on “A New Day

  1. Beautiful reflection!! What a great challenge, to bear our crosses joyfully! Thanks for being a great example.

  2. Hi Maura, I stumbled upon your blog quite accidentially while wandering hither and yon across the vast, electronic landscape.

    You write, “Suffering is a mystery. And one will never fully comprehend it until Heaven.” This is true. Whereas the mysteries of grace are unapproachable because of their luminosity, and thereby too strong for the understanding of the mind, the mysteries of sin and suffering are obscure in themselves.

    We cannot understand why God allows either sin or suffering to exist. The only explanation is their purpose is to accomplish God’s apportioned, sovereign plan and thereby manifest His goodness in respect to men: His mercy by those He chooses to save and His justice to those who He punishes by allowing them to fall. In this way the purpose of the universe is fulfilled. In the end, all that which He has permitted to happen now, will be given reasons and explanations and we will finally see the perfect justice even behind what is hidden and changing.

    We do not see this purpose unfolding throughout life, but we are taught it will be eventually consummated, if not now but eventually in the fullness of time. In Scripture it is written, “there is a time to every purpose under the heaven.” This truth is taught by the ebb and flow of life, for from each hour flows both joy and sorrow, and each victory is tempered with the realization its advance will eventually decay into ruin as well. There is no plan made or foundation laid of which decay is not the cornerstone, for what lives eternally in us does not lie in our works. If some solace exists now, it will only be a matter of time or circumstance before it too is destroyed. Dickens was right: it is always the best and worst of times. We fight the long defeat from now until parousia.

    Yet, we live believing, in temptation of every kind of despair, that the victory is already won and whatever suffering we experience is for the purpose of our joy and sanctity. If pain is to come it comes to bestow the greater beauty that only sorrow can bring forth.

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