Reflection 192: Loving God in Good Times and Bad


It’s easy to “love” God when all is well.  But when all is well, our love is not tested.  The testing that comes from human suffering clarifies our love of God.  This can be very fruitful for our spiritual lives.  It’s easy to believe that difficulties in life are nothing other than sad and unfortunate burdens and should be avoided at all costs.  Though we would be foolish to create difficulties intentionally, we will each have our share of them in this life.  Therefore, every difficulty and suffering in life must be embraced as an opportunity for you to increase your trust in God and, in so doing, to increase your love of Him.   How blessed is the soul who suffers greatly in this life while choosing to love God throughout, making that suffering the source of its increase in holiness (See Diary #1014).

What do you complain about each day?  What is it that burdens you?  Too often we run from these burdens or get angry.  Try to look at your struggles in a new light.  Try to see them as opportunities to deepen your trust and your love.  Every suffering and every burden in life has the potential of being infused with the spiritual power of the Cross.  By embracing them in love, we embrace the Cross.  And by embracing the Cross, we love God all the more.  Do not think that hardships deal you a poor quality of life.  Recognize them for what they are as a result of grace.  They are opportunities for holiness and for an increase in the reception of the Mercy of God.

Lord, when I get down, angry or despairing in life, on account of the difficulties I endure, help me to use that struggle as an opportunity for greater trust.  Lord, I desire to run to the Cross and to receive the love that poured forth from Your Cross so that I may become more like You in all things.  Increase my love, dear Lord, especially through every suffering in life that I surrender to You.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured image above: The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme, via Wikimedia Commons