F YOU are having a bad day—if you are having a bad week…no—revise that—if you are having a rough year, here is what it means: It means you are human. It means you have a heart. It means you feel deeply. It means you are connected with your loved ones and fellow human beings. It means you are mourning and in grief. It means you are quite normal.
If you struggle now, you love deeply. In turn, know you are loved deeply. I hope you know and feel this. More importantly, God wants you to know this.
This is not to discount nor minimize serious suffering, much that is chronic, much that was ongoing. Cancer treatments continue. The loss of loved ones continue. Challenges great and small go on as before. The current pandemic “piles on” to a life that with certainty delivers challenge and pain, but also joy and love.
TODAY I SAW what I took as a reminder that of hope. Just outside the front steps of our house was a blooming yellow flower. But this flower was growing out in the cracks between rock and concrete. Yet it blooms.
If nothing else, it made me smile, reminding me that in placing our trust in God we will blossom even harsh conditions.
MEANWHILE, IT HAS NOT felt much like the Easter Season, nor like Spring bringing new life. No congregation, so choir, no ordinations of several new priests in a few weeks, and a canceled choir tour. I caught myself looking for a purple tie for a televised Mass. It still feels like Lent.
But instead of counting loss, a sense of gratitude is heightened. I am ever more grateful for work, simple opportunities, health, friends, family, and abundance of love. Eyes are opened to ongoing blessings and gifts from God. This is not loss but awakening to renewed life!
TODAY, WE CARRY A COMMON CROSS. This is in addition to many other heavy crosses you likely are already carrying. As Simon helped Jesus, we help each other. God knows your troubles as he has searched you, and he knows you.
I often find Psalm 139 a great source of comfort and reassurance. Here is a recording from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with Richard Kelley, trumpet performing a meditation on Psalm 139: 1 “Lord, you have searched me, you know me.” There is grief. There is joy.
GRIEF AND SUFFERING often have one searching for meaning. From the Office of Readings from the Proslogion by Saint Anselm, bishop:
My soul, have you found what you are looking for? You were looking for God, and you have discovered that he is the supreme being, and that you could not possibly imagine anything more perfect. You have discovered that this supreme being is life itself, light, wisdom, goodness, eternal blessedness and blessed eternity. He is everywhere, and he is timeless.
Oremus pro invicem
Let us pray for each other.