Faith and suffering

Below you will find a post that Father Clair Watrin has written. With his permission I am sharing it with you. I found it spoke to my heart,  God Bless !!          Shawna




Please read and pray about this. I pray for you to trust in the darkness. — Fr. Clair

Jesus praises faith even more often than love. Why? Because faith is that patience with mystery that allows you to grow in holiness and love. We cannot understand many things in life and wonder why this was allowed by God. Where is God in this event that has come into life? I do not see His love and care!

Did not God love Jesus and the saints? Then, why, why, why, did they suffer the most? I do not want those I love to suffer the most, and if I had the power I would not let them suffer so much.

However, think about it! Parents do allow their children and their loved ones to suffer, if through their suffering they can have much greater happiness, and if they did not suffer they would end up unhappy!! Is this not true?

Children might say to their parents, “why are you taking me to have this painful operation, don’t you love me?” Parents might respond, “I do not want this suffering for you but you need to go through this or you will be sick for years and maybe die! This painful operation will save your life and enable you to help others. Trust me and one day you will understand and thank me for saving your life.”

Now I can see that my suffering was good for me because when I had no suffering I did not turn to God, or see my need for Him and I became more and more selfish and had no compassion on those in trouble or pain, and did not realize I should help them.

Now I thank God for my suffering for it led me to seek Him, and without it I could not really love very deeply or heroically.

Even the world does not admire or praise those who have life easy, but praises those who are heroic in their suffering. All movies and stories are about a hero who suffers for those he loves and saves them. We give medals to heroic soldiers who go through hell and painful wounds to save their their fellow soldiers!! There can be no heroic lovers without suffering, and God gives them the courage to be heroic in suffering.

Even Jesus, when He was here in Palestine, helped people whom He encountered and healed them, and had compassion for them in their suffering, and DID something about it! Where is He now? Has He changed? —- No, He suffered crucifixion so that we could be saved from our sins, and by our seeing His great love for us that is revealed by His willingness to take our sins and punishment on Himself to save us.
Will I trust in God and His plan for each life and for my life, that He is there in His love and compassion in our suffering and will use everything to lead to our happiness?

My decision is to trust in His love even when I cannot understand it! He helps me to do this by the gift of faith!

The saints in their own descriptions of “the dark night of the soul,” tell us that God teaches the soul most profoundly through darkness — and not just light! We only need enough light to be able to trust the darkness. Trials and darkness teach us how to trust in a very practical way that a good God is guiding us. I don’t need to be perfectly certain before I take the next step. Now I can trust that even my mistakes will be used in my favor, if I allow them to be. This is a wonderful way to grow in human love too, by the way. Darkness, mistakes, and trials are the supreme teachers. Success really teaches you nothing; it just feels good for a while, but does not help you to really love.

No one can really love if they are not willing to suffer trials for the one they love.

What are the signs and proofs that we are loved?
I know You love me because …… ?
You have joy in being my friend and you like joy? You eat your favorite ice cream for me?

Or is a better proof of your real love that you were willing to go through great suffering to help me and save me!

My spouse or my true friend loves me. I know because he [or she] stuck with me when it was painful and difficult — in good times and bad, in sickness and health, when it is pleasant and when it is very painful — all of the days of my life!

— If all thing go nicely and are all joyful, then can you be sure the person is there for you because of love — or is it because he is enjoying being there with you?
Love is the source and goal, faith is the slow process of getting there, and hope is the willingness to move forward without fully understanding why this is happening and of what good it is!

And these are indeed, “the three things that last” (1 Corinthians 13:13). People who have these gifts — faith, hope, and love — are indestructible because they cling to Jesus even when it is very difficult and hard to understand!

Jesus stayed with us and did not try to escape the price He had to pay for our salvation and happiness!!

— If He had not been willing to suffer for us, would we have admired Him? Do we really admire anyone who has no suffering?

He will help you to stick with Him and be an heroic lover as He is for you. You can do it, for He is there to help you just as He is for the saints who suffered so greatly.

The glory and happiness that you will receive, far, far outweighs the suffering. The trials and suffering are brief compared with an eternity of perfect glorious happiness!

Let us pray for each other that we will not waver in our faith in God’s love for us and that we will love Him in return. [My mother in her old age told me that now she sees that her times of suffering led to her greatest peace and growth in capacity for holiness and happiness. I see this now too in my own life.]

— I send this with my love and prayers. Fr. Clair

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