Monday, June 30, 2014


By Beth DeCristofaro

Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the LORD pronounces over you, over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt: You alone have I favored, more than all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your crimes.  (Amos 3:1-2)

He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”  Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.  The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”  (Matthew 8:26-27)

Oh, God, Giver of all Life, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Acceptance is a virtue I struggle to practice especially when I am afraid, angry, overwhelmed and, often, when I am not in control.  I remember when my father was very ill I was frustrated at the “lack of answers” the doctors gave us.  When my mother-in-law developed dementia I was impatient (in my exalted opinion) with less-than-satisfactory response by my in-laws.  The disorganization of the work world can irritate me into an ineffective and judgmental irritation.  Looking back, I can see God’s presence in each of these difficult times even if at the moment I can still struggle to do so. 

And I can find myself impatient with God that answers are not given in the manner and time in which I want them. I have trouble realizing that God loves me and God loves the world so much that God will always be present and work good out of any crisis, horror or misfortune that I and the world might experience.  The Northern Kingdom of Judah did not abide in God’s unique relationship with them and Amos warned them of the consequences.

In his work Interior Freedom, Fr. Jacques Philippe says that we do not need to be caged by our own weakness but by accepting that God loves us so immensely, we are freed up to be more than we are, to be holy.   “Even if we fall everyday, if we get up again and say ‘Lord thank you because I am sure you can make me a saint’ we give immense pleasure to God and sooner or later will receive from him what we hope for.”  He goes on to explain that our acquiescence to the reality that God’s work will be accomplished even in suffering shortens the exile, brightens the darkness, smoothes out the whitecaps we encounter.

Look back on some of the most difficult moments of your life.  What got you though those moments?  If you didn’t get through “well” why not?  In what ways was God present, smoothing the waves – friends? Prayer? Blind trust? Advisors?  Perseverance?  Give thanks to God for bringing you back from the exile of fear, pain, sadness, dependency or whatever it was.   Sit with God recognizing God’s strength for you and accept it once again.

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