By Bryan Thatcher, MD (Sep 21, 2015)
These last few years have been difficult for many of us, if not all of us. It seems everyone I talk to is going through some sort of trial. It may be financial difficulties with accompanying economic uncertainties, divorce, poor health, death in the family, disappointments with teenagers, loneliness, relapse of addictions, and more. The list is endless, and the trial can be overwhelming.
It is so easy to trust in God when all is well; it is a serious challenge when the world around us seems to be caving in. Some of our problems are self-induced, but many are not and are out of our control.
How do we handle all the trials? In the midst of her own difficulties, St. Faustina wrote, "When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him, 'You can do all things.' And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him" (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowlaska, 1033).
If you don't already, now is the time to reflect on where we have been and where we want to go, and on how much our Lord loves us. It is a time to ponder our weaknesses and rededicate our lives to God. The old saying, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there," rings so loud and true. But if you are focused, does that mean the difficulties will go away? Of course not. It means we are not alone, and that Jesus and Our Lady are walking with us.
Have you ever felt that you couldn't take it any more, that you wanted the trials to end? Have you been at the end of your rope, and so discouraged because you felt you were not strong enough to endure any more?
Saint Faustina knew where to seek consolation; she knew where to find the strength to persevere and continue the difficult trek. She wrote, "When great sufferings will cause my nature to tremble, and my spiritual and physical strength will diminish, then will I hide myself deep in the open wound of the Heart of Jesus, silent as a dove, without complaint (Diary, 957).
If you are in the midst of trial and turmoil, don't give up. Run the good race and fight the good fight, as St. Paul encouraged us to do. And reflect on the words of St. Faustina:
O Wound of Mercy, Heart of Jesus, hide me in Your depths as a drop of Your own Blood, and do not let me out forever! Lock me in Your depths, and do You Yourself teach me to love You! Eternal Love, do You Yourself form my soul so that it be made capable of returning Your love" (Diary, 1631).
Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.