Christ is in our midst!!
None of this is to say that my and your human heart is not moved to sorrow, watching one we love suffer and possibly die. It is part of our human condition. But we are called to remember that our life here is not what we were created to live forever. This is a pilgrimage--it has a beginning and an end, like every pilgrimage.
Think of this--
St. Paul writes, in one of his Epistles, (Colossians 1:24) of "completing that which is lacking in the suffering of Christ." But the sacred Passion of Christ is perfect and complete. So what is he saying or hinting at?
Jesus, in His immeasurable generosity has left space--for lack of a better word--in His Passion on the Cross for us and for our suffering. Through the Mystery of our being "plunged" into Him in Baptism, we are plunged into all He is and has experienced. Our suffering has, by anticipation, already been given eternal value over 2000 years ago when He went to the Cross. Our suffering and all the suffering that His believing people experience has already been nailed to the Cross--He has taken it with Him. So while suffering may seem useless to the person focused on this world, we know better. And while we do not go out and seek suffering, we do accept it from the Hand of a loving God as His gift to us.. Suffering purifies. It gets our attention. It lets us know that all the baggage we haul around is nothing when we are faced with a breakdown in our health and the possibility that we could be translated out of here.
I have watched my own mother suffer tremendously in the past eight months. She has been close to her translation so many times it has taken my breath away many times. But she is still with me and has just celebrated her 90th birthday last Saturday--may the Lord be praised. What she has endured and why I don't know. What I do know is that each time she has had trouble breathing--she has congestive heart failure and a 15% heart function left--she is just like Our Lord Who suffered the suffocation associated with crucifixion. It does not help watching her gasping for breath and struggling in and our of the hospital and nursing home. But she struggles on. When I am up close, I don't remember what I just wrote to you because I am too close to the suffering of one I love. But when I get back home and can get back to my peace and my prayer time, I can remember what this is all about and the fact that this has value.
Does this help?
Last edited by theophan; 10/22/19 01:22 AM. Reason: Additional personal comment; Epistle reference