Praised be Jesus Christ! The following comes from an article written by Monsignor Charles Pope that was passed along to me by a friend: “Over 29 years ago, as I was finishing seminary and about to be ordained, my spiritual director at the time gave me some advice on seeking a new one in my diocese. ‘Look for someone who has suffered,’ he said. At the time I wondered about this but have come to find that it was good advice.” The title of the article is “On the Relationship of Suffering and Wisdom,” which is provocative in and of itself. Years ago a wise old priest remarked on how we learn more from our failures than from our successes... what do you think about that? Old timers always talk about the “school of hard knocks” and though we fancy ourselves an evolving race, some elements never seem to change. Each person who lives long enough in this world to become self-conscious learns many things. We marvel as we watch children experience things for the first time – their awe and wonder are a gift to us and remind us of the miracle of life and the ability to experience it in a deeply spiritual way. Unlike other creatures, we’re able to think about what we experience and decide whether we should seek such experiences again. For example, John F. Kennedy believed it was the safety and warmth of our mother’s womb that draws so many of us to the ocean and its rhythmic waves. Yes, it’s fairly safe to claim that we are drawn to beauty and goodness and truth. But the path that leads us to these transcendent realities almost inevitably weaves through the hurts and sorrows that we would otherwise choose to avoid. Every human being suffers in this life – God told us that original sin had won for us a valley of tears and that life would be much harder now than if we had only trusted Him enough to obey Him. And yet, as God is wont to do, He said He could draw good from such sorrow and that suffering, for those who accept it with deep faith, could impart a wisdom that is not of this world. Think for a moment of the wisest person you know – take some time here to really think – have you come up with someone? What sets that person apart? What is the source of their wisdom? Have they suffered? When I was pondering these things a number of people came to mind and I could see behind their many years and wrinkles a gentleness that can only come from a person who has learned to accept life as a gift – and that means to accept the suffering too. For those who believe in a God who suffers, the life we live in this world is transformed from the rat race to accumulate the most stuff (i.e. fame and fortune) to a slow but sure process that makes us truly kind and holy. Did I mention that it’s a slow process? As a rock thrown into the ocean and retrieved after a week shows little change, so too our day to day living the Catholic faith seems to change us hardly at all. But leave that rock in the ocean for 10 or 20 or 50 years and you’ll see a wonderful transformation as it becomes smooth with all the rough edges worn away by sand and salt. So too our faith and its acceptance of suffering; we naturally rebel when it comes, but with God’s help we begin to realize that Our Lord only allows this to help us become what He knows we can be. As Jesus revealed to Saint Rose of Lima some centuries ago, “Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burdens of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true staircase to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb.” Yes, the cross is our means of salvation, even if we sometimes try to avoid it. As we pray this month for the holy souls that have gone before us, we remember that they now know the indispensable role of suffering in preparing us to live with God. May they rest in peace and may their prayers help us to trust in the Lord, who suffered and died that we might live.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
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Welcome from Our Pastor
Welcome to Christ the King Catholic Church! Ever since 1938 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Our mission statement is essentially found in the stained glass window above the main altar: “For Christ our King.” Insofar as God made us and we belong to Him, we have come to... Read More