When the Church is asked about something it can't explain, it labels it a "mystery." A good and honest answer, this: "It's a mystery." There's a large category of them.

And there's a large number of such also in our lives, so many things and happenings and people we can't rationalize.

It is impossible to explain life itself, not to mention its origin, not to mention God, and impossible to explain the coincidences of existences, as well as the difficulties.

Among those trials are people and circumstances that bring problems and that just keep repeating -- don't seem to go away.

Try and pray as we might, the issues are there the next time we encounter the person or situation, and sometimes (not always) this begins to tell us something -- about ourselves.

One thing it may be saying is that we still have growing to do, that we must change a characteristic within, in order to contend or at least cope and endure the problem thing or person.

The issue can even be a demonic assault -- often is. Paul had a thorn in his side that wouldn't go away; he discerned it as having been allowed there to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7: "there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me -- to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'")

Other "thorns" may be to train us to love at a higher level -- to love even those who bring with them the intransigent aggravations, insults, or tensions.

When we can offer love as our first and greatest reaction to a persistent, unrelenting person or problem, we have gained much purity and with purity comes the opportunity for a higher Heaven.

Everything on earth -- looked at in the right way -- is an opportunity. This of course includes illness -- though one must add that we should always cast out the evil that may be behind a trial, in the event it is evil only and not really so much of an opportunity; fighting darkness makes as strong.

It is resistance that builds spiritual muscle, that hones us, that expands the biceps, that keeps us fit (for God).

These are the trials of life and they continue right to the end as like Saint Paul we fight the good fight and never fail to strive to love.

[resources: A Life of Blessings]