As we transition from the Christmas season (which ends on Sunday) into Ordinary Time and then to Lent, we experience a shift in focus that ranges from joy to sadness. Similar to how the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary are surrounded by the Joyful and Glorious Mysteries, we are constantly reminded that the life of a Christian consists of joys and sorrows. Looking at Our Lord’s life, we see that His most difficult and sad time was followed by the great happiness of His Resurrection.
Although it’s easier said than done, the secret to achieving peace is to to remain relatively unaffected by the external circumstances of our daily lives. If we truly trust in God’s providence, then we shouldn’t be overly sad when things don’t go our way. While that doesn’t mean that we can’t grieve at the death of a close friend or relative, it does mean that we can try to accept it as something that God allowed to happen. The same logic applies to an unexpected illness or job loss. A huge source of frustration for many of us is the inability to come to grips with the fact that the Lord does not base His Will on what will give us earthly happiness. Instead His Will is designed to help us to achieve our salvation. This sometimes means that we will be forced to endure suffering. While this is difficult, it goes along with being human. As Christians, we are blessed with the ability to unite our sufferings with those of Christ. If we lean on Him for help, our crosses will become lighter. Also, remembering that all earthly suffering will end one day (either in this life or the next) can bring us much peace.
If you’re struggling with difficult situations in your life, unite your sufferings with those of Christ, think about eternal life in Heaven, ask the Lord for His help, receive the Sacraments often and remember these important words:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. (Romans 8:18)