"Suffering is the only thing that is impossible for [God], Who [is] glorious and omnipotent, the only thing which [God] [does] not have and which I can give [Him.]"It's hard to believe that I've already been doing the readings in The Divine Intimacy for over two months now. Time is certainly flying by - how is it already February? Anyway, I'm extremely grateful that my friend suggested we do this reading. There isn't always a huge "AHA" moment each day, but every day there is something worth learning and contemplating.
Yesterday, the reading and meditation was on "Living Christ" - how our "imitation of Christ should not be limited to some particular aspect of His life; it means living Christ and becoming completely assimilated to Him." The Divine Intimacy, "Living Christ," pg. 181. The passage went on to talk about how we are called to be an extension of Christ's humanity to the world, a conduit through which He can pour out His graces upon the world. Now that He is in glory in heaven, He can no longer suffer . . . yet we here on earth can. And what do you give a God Who has everything? The one thing He can't do.
Through our sufferings, if offered up to Him, we can attempt to express at least a small portion of our eternal gratitude to Him for all that He has given us in this life. There are many ways people have looked at suffering. Some claim that it is a punishment. That God wouldn't let us suffer if He really loved us. On the contrary, He lets us suffer BECAUSE He loves us. If we do not suffer or struggle in life, how can we see our own inadequacy and eventually turn to rely on Him? Then there's also the added factor of redemptive suffering, whereby we can offer our sufferings to God for Him to use to aid others.
And I'll leave you with these quotes from 63. Jesus Calms the Tempest:
"God is not a tyrant who crushes us, but a Father, who tests us because He loves us. If He permits sorrow, interior or exterior trials, personal or public vicissitudes, it is only to draw out of them some greater good. Virtue and goodness are strengthened in time of difficulty; the efforts made in bearing trials tend to make us surpass what we would have done had we enjoyed perfect calm."
"If we are disturbed and upset by trials, it means that we lack faith. Even when God conceals Himself, when everything seems to fail us and we feel terribly alone, we can be absolutely certain that God will never abandon us if we do not first abandon Him. Instead of becoming bitter or falling into despair, it is the moment to intensify our faith, to make strong acts of faith."
"Many times we fail to surmount interior difficulties because we work alone. God wants us to experience our own insufficiency; therefore, He lets us struggle until we have recourse to Him with full confidence. Certainly God wants our efforts, but He does not want us to place all our hope in them. This accounts for the small progress so many make on the road to sanctity - too much reliance on their own resources, too little on God's help."Lord, I ask that You help me and all Your people to recognize and acknowledge our own inadequacy and to turn to You for aid through Your grace. Help us to follow Your path for our lives, wherever that may lead. To place our faith in Your plan.