Monday, February 17, 2014

“Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait.”

“If we only knew the precious treasure hidden in infirmities, we would receive them with the same joy with which we receive the greatest benefits, and we would bear them without ever complaining or showing signs of weariness.”--St. Vincent de Paul

Scripture text: (JAS 1:1-11)
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters,
when you encounter various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
And let perseverance be perfect,
so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
But if any of you lacks wisdom,
he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly,
and he will be given it.
But he should ask in faith, not doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea
that is driven and tossed about by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.

The brother in lowly circumstances
should take pride in high standing,
and the rich one in his lowliness,
for he will pass away “like the flower of the field.”
For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass,
its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes.
So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Today's first reading from Mass speaks of finding joy when we encounter difficulties and trials in our lives.  The joy that can be found in these trials is the joy and comfort we find in our faith/our trust in God.  The reading continues to guide us in appreciating wisdom, which is often acquired after a difficult struggle or trial.

Difficulties and trials often have brought people "to their knees'" as life can be so overwhelming.  When we are in these places we have the option to "go it alone" or to invite God into the journey, asking for wisdom and guidance as we make our way through these difficult times in our lives.

Our struggles in life can lead us to humility and hopefully a greater dependence on the "statutes" that God has communicated to us.  Suffering can bring us to an appreciation and a need for reliance on the "ordinances" of God. 

Finally the message today seems to be reminding us of our desires ... "to have life play out in our way" rather than in God's way.  Do we pray to have our struggles/trials resolved in our time frame? In a manner of our desiring?  Or can we be open to having these struggles/trials be resolved in God's time? In God's plan?  “Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.” (Psalm 119)

How do we - will we recognize the kindness of God in our lives?

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