Beauty Blooms from Murky Waters
By Mary Bruno
It only took one dose of not-so-tasty medicine for our 4-year-old daughter to cringe and run away screaming at the site of the next 29 doses. Thank God for chocolate syrup! But that antibiotic finally started to heal her from an aggressive sickness.
A good friend of mine has had three very challenging pregnancies that have required her to be on bed rest each time. But it forced her and her husband to grow in intimacy in other areas of their relationship.
Another friend had to give up a physical nursing job she loves due to chronic illness, only to discover a new passion helping women through charting with the Creighton Model System.
Jesus Christ Himself carried the heaviest cross in the history of the world, but it brought about our Salvation.
Bracing for the onset of suffering and trying to escape it is human nature, but the fruit that suffering has the capacity to bear is priceless. There is no resurrection without the cross.
Changing the way we think about life’s challenges may not make them easier, but it may make them worth it. Just like we must choose to love daily, we can choose to make use of the hardships God allows. What difference might that make in our lives? In our moods? To our fears?
St. Francis de Sales said, “The mortifications that come to us from God, or from fellow humans with God’s permission, are always more precious than those born from our own will. It is a general rule that the less our choice is involved, the more pleased God is, and the greater profit for ourselves.”
St. Teresa of Avila said, “We gain more in one day from the afflictions visited on us by God or our neighbor than from ten years of self-inflicted suffering.”
I love the analogy of the lotus flower. It represents purity and rebirth because, despite its roots sprouting within the filthiest of waters, it blooms into an incredibly beautiful flower.
This is how Christ has designed the human person.
No amount of adversity can dictate the trajectory of our growth when we invite him into each trial. From minor and irritating to significant and life changing, we can make every moment of suffering an opportunity.