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Catholic Spiritual Direction

CSD Book Club – Imitation of Christ (Week 5 of 10)

January 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

Bearing Trials Patiently 

The Imitation of Christ

You should keep in mind the grave sufferings of others so that you could more easily bear the trifling sufferings that are yours. And if they do not appear to you to be insignificant, then maybe it is your good portion picture1unwillingness to suffer them that makes them so great. But whether they be slight or serious bear them all with patience. – The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter 19, page 102.

Three of my children have the flu, and I am coming down with it tonight as well. Given that my daughter’s been in a pitiful state since Thursday evening (she was the first to fall), I’m not excited about it. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons, I am going to keep it short this week – I hope you’ll be willing to pipe in where I leave off.

Despite your assumptions, I didn’t actually choose the above quote because of the sickness weighing down our house this week. Rather, it reminded me of something I read by Franz Kafka when I was in college. I don’t remember the actual quote, but the concept is one I’ve thought about often through the years.

Kafka’s comment was something to the effect that we tend to be more consumed by a small cut on our little finger than we are by the tragic suffering and death of a neighbor.

What do you think of that statement (or at least my recollection of it)? Please explain your answer.

Do you agree that a greater awareness of and compassion for the suffering of others would help us to accept our trials more readily?  If so, how do we acquire those things?

On a more personal level, what makes trials difficult for you to bear?  Do small trials consume you, and if they do, could that be a result of your lack of resignation or acceptance of those trials or is something else responsible?

Finally, what most helps you to bear your sufferings with patience?

I am going to refrain from putting in my two cents this week (at least within the post) – I hope you’ll be willing to share your thoughts for the edification of the rest of us.

I’m off to bear my own trifling suffering patiently:).

 

Reading Assignment:

Week 6:  Book 3 Ch. 22-32

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

For More Information on the Book Club: http://spiritualdirection.com/blog/csd-book-club

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages three to fifteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the CSD book club so she could embark with likeminded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. In addition to moderating the book club and managing family activities, Vicki also cooks, does laundry, cleans, does laundry, and, every once in a while, finds time to write and speak on topics such as marriage and spiritual reading - of course, these endeavors take place only between her many loads of laundry.

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  • Robert Kraus

    Hello, I hope you and your children get well soon!

    I would say that the sufferings of others helps put my own little sufferings in perspectives, particularly in reminding me just how little suffering I do have, and how many blessings I have. Just realizing that I am able-bodied, living in a very comfortable society, with easy access to food, medical care, etc., means that any “sufferings” I might experience are pale in comparison to others in this world.

  • zelmo1954

    Since our beginning the Imitation I have been contemplating the qualia of my Love toward God, and whether it is of a different order in adversity than prosperity. In my poverty somehow I considered the praise from joy to be more acceptable than gratitude from sorrow. Can I open my heart to Him with unwavering Love irrespective of circumstance? Can I see grace in my neighbors crosses? Most clear answers are in The Mass.

    Peace

  • Jeanette

    What helps you bear your sufferings with patience? For me, meditation on the Passion of Jesus Christ puts my little sufferings into perspective. How can our sufferings compare? And, I believe, uniting our sufferings with the sufferings of Jesus Christ gives infinite value to them…in my case, I offer them for conversion of sinners. In fact, it should be a type of joy to offer sufferings to God for the good of others because you are furthering God’s Kingdom. Vicki, I hope all will be well in your family soon. God bless!

  • Michelle Ann Griffith

    I think all suffering, our own and those of our neighbors, should bring us to the foot of the cross to contemplate His sufferings.  I think the suffering of the most innocent tears at my heart the most, and who is more innocent than Our Jesus?  But, He suffers with us, and He suffered first, yet while we were still sinners.  So, perhaps, in contemplating the suffering of the most innocent One, who willingly suffered for us, it becomes easier to bear our own sufferings, in union with His.  And, I think it makes us more aware of the sufferings of others.  I hope so, anyway.  When we start to see Christ in our suffering brothers and sisters, we desire more to alleviate that suffering.  Mother Theresa is a great example of this.

  • Scott Kallal

    Wow Vicki, I think you’ve nailed one of the most important questions in the spiritual life: How do we find joy in the midst of suffering? When I do a bad job I act like a wimp, focus only on myself and my pain, think that this will never go away, and whine about why God is doing this to me. So let’s see what happens when we flip all that around:

    What if I were to remember my identity as a warrior for Christ, a spiritual juggernaut?
    What if I were to focus on those who were less fortunate than me and on all the blessings I have received? Still more what if I were to go and serve those less fortunate than me?
    What if I remembered that this too shall pass?
    What if I were to remember that God is using this to make me the man He’s created me to be?

    Hmm, I should do this more often! For me, if I could remember this every day as part of my morning offering, I should suffer much more gladly than I do now. Thank you Vicki for encouraging this reflection! 

    God bless,

    Fr. Scott, AVI

  • Patti Day

    Vicki, Your choice of verses resonates deeply, as does your question. I received news from a friend just yesterday that has caused me to ponder these things. Your family will be in my prayers today.             

  • clare

    The Parable of the Crosses,
     (Good Friday)

    There is a daughter whom I gave a strong, suffering (of her soul). This daughter approached My Altar and said unto Me,My Lord, My Master, So Crucified, I can not bare this suffering any longer, can You, My Lord, replace it with another,
    and her Lord did,
    It was not even a minute’s passings when daughter asked her Lord,
    for her original suffering back,
    but He would not permit it, nor allow it
    Come daughter, bring to My Altar this suffering and place it at your feet.
    daughter did as she was told, and at her feet, the suffering appeared in the form of a Cross.

    When daughter looked up at the Altar she saw that her Lord had placed many Crosses there and her Lord said unto her,
    daughter, choose another Cross among the suffering Crosses you see, your original one is there. What is thy desire ?
    My Lord, how can I choose one cross over the other,
    the Crosses, all look the same.

    Her Lord replied, then daughter, look down upon the Cross at thy feet. 
    daughter obeyed her Master and when she looked up again, upon Thy Altar, the Crosses appeared in all sizes and shapes.
    For the second time,
    The Lord said, daughter what is thy desire, thy original Cross is among these?
    My Lord, the smallest cross could contain the greatest suffering, the largest the least, and I do not even recognize my original Cross among these.

    Since daughter was in such agony, more than ever (having rejected her original Cross), she asked her Lord,
    This decision, I would like to make in Wisdom,
    how will I know my choice is made in Holy Wisdom or not?
    daughter, replied her Lord,
    the decisions made in Holy Wisdom will have in them and of them, no unholy regret in the future.

    And for the third time, her Lord asked, daughter what is thy desire?
    The daughter looked at the Cross at her feet and looked at the Crosses upon Thy Altar, and then looked at her Lord, her Master, So Crucified and said,
    My Lord,
    I choose,
    that Cross,
    which now, lays at my feet,

    Blessings,
    ‘clare’
       

    • Vicki

      Beautiful – thank you.

  • CeciliaMarks

    Vicki, first of all thank you for forming the questions for us each week which I take to my meditation time. I know you must be feeling terrible if you are coming down with this flu bug in addition to caring for your children and household. I pray y’all heal quickly.

    Suffering is a great leveling agent since we all  participate in it in some manner or other so there must be something we are to learn from it. The degree of suffering is also not the same for everyone. It may be healing or it may be redemptive. It shows us we are vulnerable and we are in need of another.  The greater the suffering the more we learn we need the help of a Savior.  A child who suffers wants to be comforted and to “feel better” while the mother who sees her child in distress suffers if she can’t bring instant healing.  When she comforts her child, she shows the love of God, teaches her child how to love and their shared need is able to heal both of them. Their capacity to love grows with the help of the Holy Spirit

    For a period of time, I volunteered on a suicide prevention hot line. One of the first questions we would ask was, “what one thing happened today to bring you to this decision?” It could be as simple as a broken shoe string or a splinter in a finger.  For some folks this would be insignificant while for another it would be the tipping point. For this reason I don’t believe there is any “insignificant” suffering. A person who seems stoic after the death of relative may become hysterical if someone accidentally breaks a piece of dishware. Suffering on any level has the ability to teach us humility if we chose to learn.

  • abcmore

    “Thou must be as ready to suffer as to rejoice.  Thou must be as willing to be poor and needy as to be full and rich.”  Reading the Imitation of Christ is rocking my soul to the depths and pushing me (like a good physical trainer) to abandon myself to God.  I have a long way to go, but I am trying to learn detachment from the joys as well as sufferings of this journey, so as to radiate the Peace of Jesus – just as our Blessed Mother did.  Her love and adoration of her Divine Son did not ebb and flow depending on what kind of day she was having!  She accepted everything from the hand of God as His Will.  Some days I have been afraid to be happy – waiting ‘for the other shoe to drop’ – so to speak.  “Lord, what thou sayest is true; Thy care over me is greater than all the care I can take of myself.”

  • sanders13

    considering God’s “original intent” for mankind, revealed in the Garden of Eden, I often
    wonder if we do not accept suffering too easily?? Also, Jesus seemed to reveal the
     God of compassion and healing.? barbara

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Barbara – you bring up a good point. For instance, we can suffer with desolation. We are not supposed to accept that state and just bear it. Yes, we must bear it in faith, but we must also employ means that God has given to mitigate it. Another example is my own physical pain. At one point it was so debilitating that I could not engage with my family. No matter what I did I couldn’t fully power through it at times. So, I had to seek remedy which included prayer and medical treatment. Other times we need to seek the Lord’s remedy of suffering in prayer through healing. If we exhaust all means and remain in the suffering, in my mind, it is our cross and we must then fully embrace it. Am I on the same track with you or did you have another line of thought in mind? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/phil.milan.3 Phil Milan

    Pray to God for strength  to carry on and healing in our lives

  • Becky Ward

    Praying for a speedy recovery for you and family Vicki!

    The most obvious answer (for me) to your question about the quote is that our small suffering bothers us more than a greater suffering of our neighbor precisely because it happens to us!!  Ever notice that a paper cut is more bothersome than one that needed stitches?  It continues to get our attention.  We are more easily able to forget about our neighbors suffering, at least for short periods of time, because we are not constantly reminded.

    I was taught to think about the suffering of others at a young age.  Yet this can be a double edged sword.  Because of this…..I have minimized the impact of trauma in my life by telling myself, “Well it’s not as bad as what happened to so and so……”

    I totally agree with the idea of accepting our suffering – as a gift, yet we must make sure that we are not turning a blind eye toward, or trivializing matters that need to be addressed.  When we have been hurt – it must be acknowledged or it will fester and grow.

    Some of us are more sensitive than others – as God made us.  Things that roll off another’s back barely noticed can truly cause me pain.  So it is important to gain knowledge about ourselves, how God made us, (do I have thick or thin skin?), and how he works with us if we want to be most effective in bearing our trials patiently…….and in a healthy way.

  • THERESAEVENBLY

    Do you agree that a greater awareness of and compassion for the suffering of others would help us to accept our trials more readily?   Yes, there is a lot of truth in becoming aware, sensitized to the needs of others, to be more compassionate towards others.  Yes, I can bear my trials much more readily but more importantly, oftentimes, I feel like I can be Christ to someone too. For example, my mother adopted a very poor family during my teen years many years back. Visiting their home with cardboard covering the holes in their door opened my eyes to poverty.  When I serve on a prison retreat and listen to the stories of inmate/mothers who weep for their children, it opens my eyes to Our Mother’s heart, Christ’s own heartaches.  And what can I do but offer alittle consolation, basically a band-aid – a hug, clothing, food. All minor things to me. So do I suffer?  Yes, I’ve had my share – but in the words of St. Paul – I’ve learned to be content in every circumstance. Are my troubles worth sharing?  No, generally mine are minuscule but I do share them to encourage when I see others need encouragement (eg sympathizing with a young mother of an Autistic son (my own is a teenager)).  When troubles strike, I know I’m not pretty and my heart cries out to God, but then I remember:  God doesn’t promise a calm passage through life, but He always promises a safe landing.  I know and trust God to see me through each circumstance (and He has countless times).  So I remind myself and praise God in my own suffering. Seeing others suffers, touches me and I feel compelled to respond in prayer, in action if I can, many times in tears for others. And then I just trust Jesus to do the rest.

  • http://catholiccoffeeklatch.wordpress.com Jen S

    Hello and many prayers for your family Vicki, and for everyone dealing with illness this week.  My best friend and her family are getting over the flu also and it’s been very hard on them. 

    I do think it’s very true that we tend to hyper-focus on what we are suffering.  “What I am going through must be the worst thing that anyone could go through and how could anyone else’s problems dare to compare to mine.”  I think this is just part of the human condition and also the workings of the devil who wants to keep us focused on ourselves.  When we turn it around, however, and look at the other people in our life and what they are suffering, or look back at the martyrs of the past and how they suffered for Christ, the trifling things we deal with on a daily basis are really pretty minimal most of the time.  But, it takes time and perspective to get to the point where you can see that.  It also takes great faith and a certain amount of suffering.  Once you’ve been through a lot of really awful stuff, you start to realize that the day to day things are really nothing in comparison.  

    I have to recommend a book here – “Fabiola” by Cardinal Wiseman.  It’s an old book but I think it’s been reprinted recently.  Excellent book about the early Christians.  It really puts a perspective on suffering when you read of arrested Christians, singing in the prisons and being jubilant because they knew, by the end of the day, they would be with Christ.  Would we have that faith and that courage?

    For me, personally, I can’t get caught up in the day to day things.  Sure, I have my moments.  My biggest fault is a short temper so I do have to fight that tendency on a regular basis but, for the most part, I just can’t put forth the energy it takes to get upset at every little thing.  It’s exhausting to live that way.  Also, I won’t give it the power.  That’s true even of the big things.  I won’t give alcoholism the power over me to ruin my day or my life (my hubby is currently in a residential recovery program but we’ve had some pretty crazy moments over the years).  I won’t give power to people we considered friends who, for reasons I could only guess at, over the years have caused one form of grief or another for our family.   I won’t give the man who molested my kids the power over us or my family by becoming bitter.   These people and events don’t deserve to have any power over me. Life is far too precious to let the devil creep in and steal my joy.  The past several years have been a great trial to me and my family but it is BECAUSE of those trials that I have the peace I have today.  I have been forced to lean heavily on God and He has graced me with strength and courage.  While He has allowed these difficulties, He has also provided what was necessary to deal with it.  

    One last thing I’ll add, though I may have said it before.  I have found, over the years, that my spiritual life is WAY better when in the midst of trials.  I can truly say that I am grateful for my trials and suffering because they have brought me closer to God.  I am NOT thankful that my children have been hurt, just to be clear.  I pray daily that they continue to heal and I teach them to make forgiveness their goal.  It isn’t going to happen overnight, but it should always be out there and they should be working toward it.  Suffering can be painful, but it can also be a tremendous blessing.  Suffering gives us a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to Christ, to look beyond ourselves and see what others are going through, and to allow God to form us into who He wants us to be.  If we didn’t have suffering, we would be stagnant;  life would be peaceful but would hold no challenge.  We would have no reason to lean on God and look to Him for help.  It is far better to suffer and, by suffering, grow to love Our Lord all the more. 

    Deo Juvante, Jen

    PS. Sorry I’m always writing long posts.  I can’t ever seem to say anything short. :o)

    • http://catholiccoffeeklatch.wordpress.com Jen S

      After posting and going to bed I thought maybe I should have added that, as great as our trials have been, I am very aware that there are many who have endured much greater suffering than I.  I said my biggest fault is a short temper but, while that is ONE of my biggest faults, the biggest is probably actually pride.  See, I can even get prideful about my suffering!!  Fortunately, the Good Lord provides plenty of times every day for me to experience humility and remind me of my many, many shortcomings! :o)  Have a blessed day all!!

      Deo Juvante, Jen

  • talby

    In suffering, the Lord lays out so perfectly the road to sanctification…  bearing trials patiently… so simple, yet so difficult to embrace.  I agree with the many wonderful posts this week…trials are not necessarily big or small but proprotionate to the bearer.  Christ gives each of us our own crosses so as to grow in accordance with the virtues we need for this spiritual journey we are on.  The simplicity is that the suffering allows us to seek Christ above all things (see Chapter 22).  During Christ’s life, he showed us in every way how we are to live our lives, and in His Passion, he showed us the true beauty of suffering – we can never compare our suffering to His, but in our sufferings, we learn true obedience and true humility. 

    I think that in becoming more aware of our own sufferings from a spiritual position rather than purely temporal, we in turn are more compassionate of others suffering and also more connected to role suffering plays in our own lives as it brings us closer to Jesus.  This is such a rich teaching this week in these readings…

    God Bless,
    Terrie

    Vicki -My prayers are with you and your family…be well soon! 

    • Vicki

      Terrie – I agree completely with your comments – everything you said was simple, and yet so absolutely profound – the paradox of Christianity:).  

  • LizEst

    Vicki – first of all, my prayers for a quick recovery for you and your family.

    1.  re Kafka’s statement – I don’t know that that is necessarily true.  Our fallen human condition makes us prone to that.  But, with Christ, we truly can be more concerned for others than we are for ourselves.  He makes all things new.  And, what is new, what is different from the way the world sees things is that we can begin, here and now, to see things as Christ sees them, to be more solicitous for others than ourselves.  That doesn’t mean we don’t suffer as well.  But, we suffer differently, we suffer with compassion.  Think of the athlete that continues to drive his or herself forward despite injury.  This happens when we stop thinking of ourselves…and mothers are famous for this.  So, God bless you, Vicki.  It takes a lot to minister to someone who is ill when you yourself are also suffering.

    2.  Yes and no, I agree somewhat that a greater awareness of and compassion for the suffering of others would help us accept our trials more readily.  At the same time, we are not supposed to compare ourselves to others or else we will become like the prideful pharisee in the parable of the pharisee and the sinner.  Recall how the pharisee got up and said something like “I give you thanks, O God, that I am not like that sinner.  I fast.  I pray many times during the day.  I give alms.”  We don’t know what is in someone else’s heart; we don’t know what they are made of, what weakens them, what hurts them.  What awareness and compassion for the suffering of others does for us is that it helps us to see the suffering Christ, whom we should be eager and willing to assist, whom we should go the extra mile for…even when the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak.  Suffering trials, illness, and tribulation that we ourselves bear does make us more compassionate.  The challenge when confronted by others in the same or similar situation is to remember what that is like, to put ourselves in their shoes just as Jesus put Himself in our shoes, and to act positively on this.

    3.  Hmm, what makes trials more difficult for me to bear?  I would chalk that up to my imperfections, weaknesses, desire to resolve issues on my schedule instead of in God’s time, and varying degrees of impatience.  Small trials don’t consume me like they used to because I pray more and have learned to put more trust in the Lord knowing that, whatever the outcome, Christ has already won the victory.  It doesn’t mean that I can’t fall into this pattern these days, it is just less likely and less often than before.

    4.  What most helps me bear my sufferings is uniting them to Christ in the holy sacrifice of the Mass…and offering them up for someone or some intention, particularly one that needs a lot of prayer.  That really gives me joy because I know that the Lord permits these things in order to bring about some greater good.  Thanks be to God that He graciously allows us to participate in His plan of salvation.  I am happy to do His holy will, which is my heritage forever (cf Psalm 119: 111a).

    May God grant you and all your family a speedy recovery, Vicki.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May He make His face shine upon you and give you peace.

  • Victoria Campbell

    For me suffering has routinely seemed unfair.  All the thoughts of the saints that I read about welcoming suffering and from our readings of the past few weeks have challenged me to the core.  I do not welcome suffering yet I am always mindful that there are others who suffer far more than myself and that I should be better able to put up with whatever comes my way. In these readings I have been telling myself that the next trial that comes my way I want to be more resigned to God’s will and to trust that there is a purpose to suffering and that I need to be strong and patient. 

    So I guess God thinks I am ready for a challenge!  Last week I found a sizable lump in my right breast and after exam and other diagnostic testing I am waiting to be referred to a surgeon because I am told that this lump is very concerning.  Somehow I am bearing up and I am resigned that whatever comes is God’s will.  I am thankful for all the strengthening that my faith life has undergone over the past few months.  I pray for God’s strength and healing and that whatever comes I may bear this so that I may be a witness to my faith in Christ and that I be accepting of whatever be his will

    • Vicki

      Victoria, you will certainly be in my prayers.  I’m with you – suffering often does seem unfair.  There is a big difference between theory and practice.  We know we are supposed to carry our crosses and bear them patiently, but when it comes to that one issue in that one moment, our human side can come out full boar.  Thankfully, in our human nature, we have a God who can and does comfort us and if we allow Him to, will bring us peace.  When you look back at this moment in your life, I have a feeling you’ll see a strength in yourself that you never knew you had – God’s grace is truly amazing – it will fill you up when you think you are most empty.    In Christ,
      Vicki

    • LizEst

      Victoria – my prayers for you. May the Lord be with you during this trial.  May he give you peace. Never fear, you are already witnessing beautifully to your faith in Christ.  God bless you.

    • http://catholiccoffeeklatch.wordpress.com Jen S

      Many prayers for God’s will in your life and for the grace to accept it.  It is easy and normal to feel like we have received more than our fair share of suffering.  If suffering were easy to accept, it wouldn’t really be suffering, would it!  lol   One thing that helped me, was to recognize where I want to be and acknowledge that I’m not there yet.  For example, I talk to my kids about working toward forgiving their molester.  I tell them that I know they aren’t ready yet – it feels downright impossible  to them right now – but I explain that I want them to have it out there, as a goal to work toward.  You don’t have to welcome suffering *today*.  Today, you can be upset, you can cry, you can even shake your fist at God and ask, “Why?”  But, when you know that acceptance is out there and know that it’s what you’re working toward, the day will come, slowly, when you can see God’s hand in your current struggle, and maybe even find the strength to thank Him for it.  ((((hugs)))) and prayers!

      Deo Juvante, Jen

    • BeckitaMaria

      I join you in praying that God strengthens and heals you, Victoria.  His Peace be yours.

  • Vicki

    I started to thank one individual for their prayers, but realized that so many of you have offered them, I should thank you all – they must be working!  I never was completely down for the count, and as of today the kids are mostly back in school (a little sluggish, but working nonetheless:)).  We’re all still sleeping in, but by God’s grace, Monday we should be back on track completely!  It’s wonderful to belong to a this one, holy and universal Family!  Thanks again!

    • LizEst

      Glad to hear you are all doing better.  My prayers for a complete recovery for all.

  • BeckitaMaria

    Vicki, I’m eager to read your reflections and questions as soon as they arrive for you are gifted in your abilites to probe the depths of spiritual reading with your observations, questioning and shared thoughts.  I appreciate your affirming, sensitive, thought-provoking ways of replying to people. Thank you.  Thanks be to God for you.  Along with many here, I have been praying for a return to good health for you and your family.
     
    I care for my three granddaughters (aged 5, 3 and 8 months) three days early in the week.  I love my Nana duty!  At the same time, I am plain tuckered out at the end of the days hence I usually comment later in the week. 
     
    I so appreciate the wisdom and reflections of each person who takes the precious time to share.  Thank you.  Truly, I am in awe of the power of God’s grace at work in each of our lives.  All of you continue to be tucked into my daily prayers and as a retired educator, I “get” that there are many who are in a place where they prefer to grow by simply reading comments rather than sharing at this time.  You’re included in my prayers as well.
     
    I DO believe that considering the afflictions of others can be a bridge to accepting our own suffering.  In 1975 when my husband and I arrived in West Africa for our Peace Corps experience, I immediately felt guilty that I had taken so much for granted in my life.  We entered the PC filled with a yearning desire to give to others and soon became aware that we received much more than we gave.  When we returned home, again and again, we combatted the temptations towards materialism with memories of the lives and stories of our African friends.
     
    I appreciate what both popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have said about the mystery of suffering.  In Pope Benedict’s encyclical “Saved in Hope” he says: “It is not in sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love.”  For me, pondering these words is a great motivator to bear and to embrace suffering with patience.

    One last thought after this week’s reading…  Last week, I mentioned the Imitation was a book St. Therese read at the age of 14 and kept with her constantly.  My friend, Fr. Bart, informed me she not only read it, St. Therese memorized it!!!  No wonder she could keep it with her constantly.  Last week, I was following Therese into Jesus’ Arms.  This week, I am inspired to memorize Chapter 21 for it fills me with joy. 

    This is my prayer for each of us: to be filled with God’s Joy and Peace amidst our trials.  
     
     
     
         
     
     
     

  • Mary Wiley

    I found a renewed faith and deeper relationship with Jesus through the Sacraments after the death of my son. Going through the grief process has brought me to a place where I wrote this prayer that I was reminded of after reading your post.

    Help me Jesus but not for me,
    helps me Jesus so others can see.
    Your patience, Your kindness, Your goodness and Love,
    That can only come from our Father above.
    Sometimes I cannot see past my own pain, to see that others feel the same.
    I desire to be Your lowliest servant on earth,
    to see You in all others please show me their worth.
    I can not do this on my own power, so I turn to our Mother hour by hour.

    While I drew closer to Jesus, my husband drew further away. As I watch him falling further from the Faith and further from Jesus, it is hard to be patient, because I know from experience that we never know when anyone will draw their last breath. So I pray even more for God to help me through this and to cling to the HOPE that ALL things works together for good to those who love the Lord. Although I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know Jesus is with me and He is the light of the world. Appropriate as we approach Candlemas, February 2nd.

    • LizEst

      Mary – This is a beautiful prayer you have written.  My sympathies to you on the death of your son, a loss no parent should have to experience.  Yes, the Blessed Mother knows well your pain.  How sad for you about your husband, too.  May our Lord, the true light which enlightens the world, shine his grace powerfully into both of your lives.  God bless you, Mary.  My prayers for you, your husband and your family.

    • BeckitaMaria

      Beautiful prayer, Mary.  I’m so sorry about the death of your son and your husband’s struggle with the Faith right now.

      In union of prayer for you and your family.

      • Mary Wiley

        Thank you! prayers are much needed. This is one reason I signed up for these e-mails. I did have e very good spiritual director for a while until he was tranfered. I have been on my own for over a year facing these trials. However, I have found that activly participating in the Mass. Preparing ahead by reading the Scriptures and paying close attenion to the homilies has helped. Learning to stand on my own two feet and trusting in Gods Mercy have been a very good lesson in all of that.

        This website is very good also. There is a lot of good advice and it helps to see that others feel the same, or are stuggling with some of the same things as I am. I have learned that we can not make it through this life alone we are all “in the same boat” … so to speak.