Recently, God brought a Sunday evening office antiphon, from the 33rd week, to my mind, “By your trusting acceptance of trials, you will gain your life, says the Lord.” In reflecting on this with Christ I started to realize how very true, if not always easy, this statement is in my life. It is in our trials that our lives are shaped. We become what we are, for better or worse, by the way we handle life’s difficulties; whether great or small. If we accept our trials with love, joy and trust as being allowed by God we become more fully who God wants us to be. It is “in our weakness that we find strength” (St. Paul) and are able to experience joys on paths we never would have fathomed.
The saints are our great example of this universal truth. To quote Father Swift, a “retired” priest in Tulsa, “Every success in life involves sacrifice. Are you willing to pay the price?” The modern day example of this are the lives lived by Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Their lives were filled with sacrifice and self-giving yet they never counted the cost. They were able to move mountains because they were centered in God’s love and relied not on their strength but His. They radiated not themselves but Christ to the world. It was in this way they were able to find love, joy , and freedom no matter what the conditions around them were.
When we persevere in God’s path we find the fulfillment of our lives. Like the saints we find out that God’s adventure for us is greater than we could have ever planned on our own. What we have to do is abandon ourselves to God’s love, trust Him to lead, and allow Him to give us the strength and grace for the task ahead.
- Sister Karol Marie, FSGM