Speaking with friends, family and acquaintances, I get a sense that everyone is struggling just to survive – spiritually and mentally, as well as physically. There isn’t much “thriving” going on for sure! Everyone is completely overwhelmed with life. So many people are suffering from cancer, and big losses. It seems simply unprecedented.
I try only to speak positively here, but I feel moved to admit that I have not been handling this feeling of overwhelming stress and sadness well as of late. These past few months I’ve been fighting depression (and blasted hot flashes.) Normally, I can put on the radio, sing along to some of my favorite Christian music and it makes me feel happy – uplifted. Normally, I get joy out of greeting people with a smile or a kind word. Normally, I go to adoration and feel such peace that really lightens the load. Lately – no relief. Nothing seems to give me joy. I guess this might be similar to St. John of the Cross’ dark night of the soul. I know that God can use this too, for good – perhaps to test or to purify me. I just wish it wasn’t so miserable. Why do I “confess” this? I just want you to know that if you’ve been struggling, you are not alone.
I believe that the fight between good and evil is ramping up – coming to a head so to speak. I think that things are going to get worse, unfortunately, before they get better. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a prophet to see the writing on the wall. We MUST hold onto hope, however. Without hope, what have we got? Without hope, this mess that we are living through is for naught. I don’t believe that it is all for nothing. God is still in control. I believe that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the Reign of the Sacred Heart are coming soon.
It is always darkest before the dawn. In the first reading, we hear John’s vision of the opening of the seals. God restrained the angels from destroying the land until the foreheads of the elect were marked. “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” Oh how I look forward with anticipation to the time that follows our time of great distress. We must remember that when we suffer (even though it seems to drag on to the point of unbearableness), it will be but a second in light of eternity. Perseverance – ugh – I don’t like that word. It means hanging in there when things are tough. It’s so hard to do, but so necessary for the “Christian soldier.” Lord, give us the strength to persevere – for Your greater glory.
Lord, this is the people who long to see your face! Because of Jesus, we have Hope – that we will someday soon be comforted and satisfied. We will know justice. The kingdom of heaven we will share. Oh what a wonderful, glorious day that will be!