Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Kept Faith

June 12, 2009

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you...Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4: 8-12, 15)

I kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!” I said in my alarm, “No one can be trusted!” (Psalms 116:10-11)

“But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.” (Matthew 5:28-29)


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I accept from Your hands, whatever kind of death it may please You to send me today (tonight), with all its pains, penalties and sorrows, in reparation for my sins, for the souls in purgatory, for those conversion of sinners, for all those who will die today (tonight), and for Your greater glory. –By Father John A. Hardon, SJ


Dying is so hard.

The physical kind is difficult enough. We join in the suffering of friends and families who struggle through debilitating, chronic, and fatal illnesses. We share the shock when someone dies as the result of a freak accident or senseless crime. We need our time to mourn and grieve. But there’s a sense of finality, and we must continue our lives on earth, if not for our own sake then for the sake of the others who also suffered in our loss.

Still harder, however, can be the daily challenges of which Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel reading and Paul describes in the first reading. These afflictions are the parts of us that must die if the Christ in us is to live. Drinking too much? Eating too much? Being judgmental? Eyeing your spouse’s best friend ... or playing over and over in your mind the pretty parts of a love gone by? Being less than generous with your time, talent, or treasure?

Let it go, Christ tells us. Let it die, even if you’re tempted every minute or every hour or every day or once every ten years. For when an affliction dies, we clear out more room for grace, more space for Christ’s life to be manifested in us.


Find something tangible to help you keep faith as the psalmist did despite numerous afflictions. This should be something you can touch or say or sing or picture when you feel abandoned or hopeless in dealing with a problem. Maybe it’s your rosary. Maybe it’s “Day by Day” from Godspell or “Keep the Faith” from Bon Jovi. Maybe it’s a photo from a time you felt you were at your best. Keep it with you this week... and see where you are next Friday.