"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Psalms 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)
There been times when I thought I couldn’t last for long.
But now I think I’m able to carry on.
A change gon’ come.
Oh yes it will. (Sam Cooke)
Suffering can fall on us like a thief in the night: cancer spreads, jobs are cut, the drought worsens, depression returns. In this long night, existence is pared down to essentials. We grip the rock and try to hold on. In darkness our prayer is a cry of the heart. As light returns, we are not the same. A change has come. God is nearer and compassion is more real. There is goodness arising from our loss. I give thanks for my new heart open to the world.
Sometimes suffering is chosen. The 600 persons who first stepped onto the bridge in Selma, Alabama, 50 years ago to march to the state capital to secure voting rights saw the police massed for an assault. They “resisted to the point of shedding blood.” In his memoir, John Lewis recalls Bloody Sunday and the discipline arising from taking action and from time spent in jail. He learned faith in the spirit that moves in history and faith in their enemies’ capacity for change. The long struggles for justice teach patience and to “strive for peace with everyone.”
It is tempting to see suffering as punishment. Thomas Aquinas rejects this notion. To suffer is evil and we must seek to relieve it whenever possible. But suffering is not separable from human existence. To seek perfection and fully embrace his humanity even Jesus suffers. Returning to his village, his spirit droops in the face of sarcasm and doubt. His carping neighbors refuse to listen and readjust their expectations. From the “bitter root” of cynicism nothing grows. Without faith, our vision narrows; we speak but “our feet do not move.” As we open to love, the isolation ebbs. In the company of God and others, we become real.
When his wealthy parents surrounded him with pleasures, the young man was depressed. When the painted windows opened and he saw the four sights--persons aging, sick, poor, and dying--he learned compassion. The Buddha is always smiling.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
All Advent Angels Annunciation Bedtime Prayer Be Present Be True To Yourself Bible Bible Verse Blessed Mother Blessed Mother Teresa Blessings Camino Camino De Santiago Pilgrimage Charity Christ Christian Christmas Compassion Contemplation Daily Advent Inspirational Challenges Daily Devotional Daily Reading Reflections Daily Reflections Dear Pilgrim Divine Love Divine Mercy Do Not Judge Dr. Wayne Dyer Encouragement Faith Faith In God Faith In The Lord Fasting Father Donald Calloway Reflection Finding Yourself Forgiveness Gifts God Gods Guidance God's Love Gods Love Gods Love Good Friday Gratitude Healing Healing Of The Family Tree Holy Land Holy Spirit Humility Ignatian Spirituality Ignatius Of Loyola Jesus Joel Osteen Journey Joyce Meyer Joy In The Lord Jr. Justice Lectio Divina Lent Lenten Reflection Letting Go Life Live In The Moment Lord Love Marianne Williamson Martin Luther King Mary Meditation Meditations Medjugorje Medjugorje Pilgrimages Mercy Miracle Morning Reflection Nazareth New Years Resolutions Night Prayer Novena Oswald Chambers Patience With God Peace Pentecost Poem Pope Benedict XVI Positive Thinking Pray Prayer Prayer For Healing Prayers For Children Prayers For The Sick Prayer To The Holy Sprit Pray For Enemies Psalm Reflection Rely On Jesus Rest Richard Rohr Self-denial Serve Others Shine Simplify Sing A New Song Sing Unto The Lord Sit With God In Silence Spirituality Spiritual Journey Stations Of The Cross St. Clare St. Francis St. Francis Xavier Storms In Life Suffering Surrender Take Care Of Yourself Thanksgiving Thirst For God Thomas Merton Trust Unjustly Virgin Mary Wait For The Lord Walk With God Worrying Bible Verse
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen
Camino De Santiago Pilgrimages Medjugorje Pilgrimages Marketplace
Prayerful Path Blog Camino de Santiago Blog Blessed Mother Guide Us
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Support our ministry