HY DO WE COMPLAIN about the sufferings of this world? Nobody has ever lived in such luxurious times as ours.
Can you imagine trying to provide lunch for your family in the year 1300AD? How about 600AD? How about 50BC?
Someone might say, “Oh, well, people in those days grew their own gardens.” But this is not true, because some were tax collectors, others were soldiers, others servants, and so on. Moreover, what if the soil wasn’t fertile? What if a drought came? What if bugs, animals, thieves, or enemy soldiers stole fruits from your garden? What if you didn’t know how to cultivate a garden, or what types of plants to grow? What if you were handicapped, or mentally challenged, or very sick? What if you had to raise (and butcher) an animal whenever you wanted a bit of meat? How can you maintain a balanced diet when you must rely on that which you scavenge? What did they do before refrigeration? What did they do before running water? What if you had both arms amputated, like so many after the Civil War? What did they do before modern medicine, electricity, alarm systems, telephones, cars, email, and all our modern technology?
This whole thing started because I was showing a friend of mine one of the ancient manuscripts found in the Jogues Missal. This particular one came from 1070AD:
My friend said the manuscript “looked OK“—whereas I think it’s marvelous, glorious, fantastic … especially considering the difficulties of ordinary life in those days!
Sometimes I think people have a hard time understanding history. They really don’t understand the difference between life in 1850AD, 1450AD, or 600AD. Perhaps I have an advantage. Ever since I was a child I’ve studied the lives of the great pianists (1+2), whose biographies are “bound up with history” (as Fulton Sheen would say).
Getting back to the main point: How blessed we are! How dare we complain? How dare we shirk the work God has given to us?
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come…”