The Trials We Endure…

Writing this “Corner” only hours after completing last week’s article, I would like to continue to focus on our individual well-being and spiritual peace and comfort in these days of trial. The trials we endure… (Our Lord referred to them as…“Your Cross”) … at times, certainly seem to encircle us, impacting us from every side. We can start, in close, where our travails could include relationships with…our parents, our siblings, our children, our in-laws, and our relatives in general. They could also include our relationships with fellow employees, fellow students, boyfriends or girlfriends, parishioners, clergy, and virtually anyone with whom we have regular contact. These testing elements could also include the various levels of governing agencies to which we submit our allegiance, such as… neighborhood associations, fraternal and other organizational councils, city, county, state and federal governments, and our judicial and
penal systems.

These trials could be our contending with health issues, which could be loved ones (parents, spouse, children, siblings, relatives, best friends… or …our very own health and well-being). And then, as we have been made so acutely aware since early this year, our travails can also emanate from the very underpinnings of our Catholic faith… from our Catholic hierarchy of leadership… the very “oasis” to which we are meant to turn in our times of trial and confusion. We moderns have now experienced, just as Jesus did, that our trial; that our heartbreaking spiritual wounds and pain, can indeed come from within, from our disciples, the Church leaders, from those in whom we had explicit trust…the hierarchy of our Church. So…”What to do?”

What I have found very helpful, and I’m sure you will find it helpful as well … (as I have learned this from reading the accounts of many Saints’ lives)… And that is, to take every difficulty directly to Our Lord God in simple humble prayer. Always asking for His intervention to provide you with: the strength to endure; His enlightenment and wisdom; His guidance and direction; His counsel and ultimately His Holy Consolation. And all of this requires our faith in God. He told us quite directly in Matthew 19:26 regarding getting to heaven: “for human beings this is impossible… But for God all things are possible”. We are never to despair (a work of the devil) in times of trial… questioning: “Where Is God in all this?” `

In Philippians chapter 4 verse 13, we hear Paul say quite positively: “I can do all things…through Him Who strengthens me.” In Jesus everything is possible. In John 15:5, Jesus presents this truth negatively: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Note the preposition is “apart”… from Jesus. And, the result is: nothing, not anything, not, naught, nada, not a single thing. Without Jesus nothing of value is possible!

This is real discipleship… Complete dependence on Christ in everything. Our lives should be Christ-sufficient and not self-sufficient. This is the only way to bear fruit as His true disciple. Living in complete dependence on Christ, requires great humility on our part. We must daily humble ourselves for him, and acknowledge that apart from him… we can do nothing! So, let us build into our lives, daily prayer and fasting, a praying of the Holy Rosary (for both Poor Sinners and our own intentions), praying the Chaplet of Mercy at 3 0’clock each day, making Personal Sacrifices, and most beneficial for you and your intention is a quiet prayerful hour spent in adoration of the exposed Lord. And so, I return to my appeal made in last week’s “Corner” article. I believe we will all acknowledge that His Kingdom… Heaven… is our ultimate goal. I think we all know that, however, we tend to lose sight of the guidelines that He provided for us to do just that. To love God with all our heart, mind, and being…and also to love our neighbor as ourselves. We know full-well, that the focal point to achieve that Heavenly Goal, is in and through His Church…the Church He established 2018 years ago. We do not have to make a 100 to 200 mile pilgrimage to attend the Temple as in His day. We have the convenience of proximate local churches, such as Mary, Queen of Heaven. It’s not just a group of buildings…it is indeed a “Community”. A community of God’s devoted people…that give thanks and praise to God in the liturgy of the Holy Mass, at least once weekly. It is, or at least should be, a community, all of whom are striving to attain that “Ultimate Goal” mentioned above, by actively living and participating in the very life and ministries of this
Faith Community.

Let’s face it, we are pleasing Our Savior immensely if we are giving a priority in our daily lives, to His Church; to His Outreach to the less-fortunate and ill; to His Consolation to the mourning; to His Teaching of the Faith; and to His Comforting of those hurting. We please Him by being contributors to raising a Joyous Song of choral praise: to being ministers active in Liturgical Worship…Ministers of the Body and Blood and of the spoken Word: and most especially…to dedicate time for quiet Praise and Personal Adoration in front of His exposed Presence.

Quite simply, our involvement and contribution to this community of God’s people, to His Church, has to consist of more than a brief passing hour each weekend. With your alliance to His Church’s life and activities, you will accrue that double-edged blessing, your earthly peace and Our Lord’s pleasure with you, when He receives us at the Gate to His Kingdom. Once again, I am encouraging everyone to find a niche, in our many ministries, where you can contribute to the vibrancy of our church. My profuse thanks is extended to all who have been committed, and also those who are newly committed, to active participation in a parish ministry.

Mindful that with God, anything is possible,