Great Magdalens, by
Msgr. Hugh Francis Blunt, twenty true stories of women guilty of the
abominable -- adultery, murder, fornication, and abortion -- plus the
inner sins of envy, hatred, jealousy -- but rescued from that state due
to the mercy and forgiveness of Christ! Starting with Mary Magdalen, we
progress through true representations of how we all may convert and
whether men or women must always seek a purer spirit.
WHEN AFFLICTIONS SEEM ENDLESS, WISE AND BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO RISE ABOVE DISBELIEF
We all have had it happen -- at least to a degree. It rains; then it pours. We live in a time when it seems to be pouring all over the place.
Call in the "Job experience." You hurt your back. You develop allergies. You have a serious skin disorder. You have aching joints. You suddenly have fibromyalgia. You have an accident. The roof leaks. You lose a loved one. Finances collapse. For some folks, serious illnesses like cancer and heart disease are thrown into the mix.
Never mind a leak; the roof seems to cave in. One sickness, one setback, one disappointment, one suffering after another. This can come for a number of reasons. It can come because we are neglecting something in our spiritual or temporal lives. It can occur simply in the course of the life's trials (so many!). It can occur due to a hidden block (or curse). It can happen due to sin. It can be something that has been passed down through the generations (see the Kennedys). "I cry to Thee and Thou dost not heed me," Job bellowed.
For he was blameless, yet suffered -- greatly. Still, Job never tuned to disbelief. He persisted. He did not lose faith that God is just. He knew Satan was involved. (Do we?) He didn't become an atheist. When the Creator spoke to him out of that whirlwind, it was to remind him that the universe and the creatures in it are really beyond the understanding of humans.
No immediate solution was offered but Job was satisfied with an experience of immediate communication with the Lord and his humility and trust were deepened by his sufferings ("now my eye sees Thee"). As a result -- after timeless pain -- all he'd lost and much more was restored to him. At Fatima, Portugal, the young children there were burdened with one suffering after another -- rejection by their families, the skepticism of Church official, authorities threatening to kill them, storms, and later, illness: Jacinta and Francisco died from the flu at ten and eleven.
Who can pretend to understand, on this side of the veil, why all that transpires in life happens?
How can we call suffering a curse if it brings deeper holiness (and purification)?
Sometimes, yes, it is a curse. When problems persist, spirits may be involved. Break it and cast darkness out, in the Name of Jesus. Sometimes it is because you must change the course of your life. God is hinting that.
Sometimes, it seems like God is not there.
Rest assured He is.
In fact, He's closest when He seems farthest.
Those who suffer the most are often those called by God to the highest realm of perfection.
Don't "drink of the poison" of defeat. Don't listen to what others may say. Witness even Job with his wife. And remember that the most dangerous reaction is anger at God.
That separates us. It doesn't just silence the Lord. It can set Him at a distance.
But He always seeks to return -- when you invite Him through faith.
No matter what we experience on earth, when we die -- when we see the other side of the needlepoint -- we will look at life on earth as an incredibly brief period of time and see that no tragedy on earth seems so big in the light of eternity.
The only solution is prayer -- union with God. Thus do we hear -- do we "see" -- Him. There is hope where there is faith.
It may be due to the sins of those around us. It may simply be to improve holiness. It may be to chastise. Job was a victim soul. Perhaps he was cleansing his generations.
But he never lost his faith after losing nearly everything he held dear and regained what had been taken because he never lost what (or should we say Who) was the dearest to him.
[resources: Life Missions, Family Healings]
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