Friday, February 1, 2019

In The present Mess Our World Is In, We Must Never Allow Ourselves To Be Overcome By Tribulations and Difficulties

The other day, I was reflecting on the present state of the world.
Whoa! What a mess we are in!
Clergy sexual abuse scandals that seem never-ending. Lying Bishops and Cardinals. And Priests and Deacons, too. All of these happening the world over!
Legally aborting full-term babies as they are delivered through the birth canal.
Legalized, publicly retailed Marijuana.
Extreme weather events and major natural disasters.
Man-made environmental damage and disasters causing large-scale involuntary migration due to water crises and famine crises.
Large scale cyber attacks and massive incidents of personal identity theft and data fraud.
Fake news.
Major economic and political confrontations/frictions between major powers.

Then, while searching for a document on my computer, I stumbled upon an article about our Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. The article related Benedict's teaching concerning prayer and tribulations. 
I thanked God The Holy Spirit for leading me to it (and for preventing me from deleting it from my hard drive).

Way back, in May of 2012, then Pope Benedict XVI was teaching the nature of Christian prayer according to St. Paul.

Pope Benedict saw St. Paul's prayer experiences as true  individual encounters with God the Father, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit.

These encounters, these two-way dialogues, teach us the reality of the faithful "yes" on the part of God and the trusting "amen" of the faithful.

In his explanation of this relationship, Pope Benedict concentrated on the Second Letter to the Corinthians  
[1:3-4 New International Version NIV], where the Apostle writes:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Comfort, the Pope explained, is not to be understood as mere consolation, but as an exhortation not to allow ourselves to be overcome by tribulations and difficulties.

We are invited to experience every situation in unity with Christ, Who takes all the suffering and sin of the world upon Himself in order to bring light, hope and redemption.

Thus, Our Lord Jesus enables us, in our turn, to console those who are afflicted by any kind of suffering. Profound union with Christ in prayer, and confidence in His presence, predispose us to share the sufferings of our brothers and sisters.

Pope Benedict explained that "our life and our Christian journey are often marked by difficulty, misunderstandings and pain. In a faithful relationship with the Lord, in constant daily prayer, we are able to feel the consolation that comes from God. This strengthens our faith, because it means that we enjoy a concrete experience of God's 'yes' to man ... in Christ, the faithfulness of His love which went so far as to give His Son on the cross."

Our faith -- our personal faith and the Faith of our Holy Catholic Church -- is a gratuitous gift of God. It is rooted in His fidelity to us, in His "yes," which leads us to understand how to live our lives while loving Him and our neighbor. The entire history of salvation is a progressive revelation of God's fidelity to us, despite our own infidelity and our constant denials.

Pope Benedict pointed out that God's way of acting is quite different from that of man. "Faced with conflicts in human relationships, often even within the family, we tend not to persevere in gratuitous love, which requires commitment and sacrifice. However, God never loses patience with us and, in His immense mercy, precedes us always and comes out to meet us. ... On the cross He offers us the measure of His love, which is not calculated and has no limit. Such faithful love can wait even for those who reject it. God always seeks man and wishes to welcome him into His communion, to give him fullness of life, hope and peace."

On to the"yes"of God is grafted the"amen" of the Church, the response of faith with which we conclude our prayers.  Our "amen" expresses our own "yes" to God's initiative.

"In our prayers, we are called to say 'yes' to God, to respond with an 'amen' which is an expression of adherence, of faithfulness to Him with all of our lives.
"But we can never achieve such faithfulness by our own powers.  It is not only the result of our daily efforts; it comes from God and is founded on the 'yes' of Christ. ... We must enter into Christ's 'yes' by following God's will so that, with St. Paul, we too can affirm that it is not we who live, but Christ Himself Who lives in us. Then the 'amen' of our individual and community prayers will embrace and transform all of our lives."


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
New International Version NIV

 

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Join the Men Of St. Joseph group at Our Lady Of Mercy Church in Hicksville, NY! Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.