Dear Catholic.net User in Christ,
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword separate us from the love of Christ? “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35, 39).
Labour Day is just around the corner and many of you have written asking prayers for a situation of unemployment in your family. Be sure of our daily prayers and Mass offerings. Keep the faith and be encouraged by the words of Saint Paul “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9).
In periods of trial God invites us to reflect on his fatherly Providence. We ought to trust our heavenly Father knows our needs (Matthew 6:32; Matthew 10:29-31). He is not an absent Father, but One who is so close that he holds our hands to guide us (Psalm 139:10). Let’s be mindful that God’s providence guides it all (Wisdom 14:1-4), and that God will provide (Genesis 22:8).
We keep the faith, but not without acknowledging the suffering. A Christian is not exempt from suffering. We suffer for spiritual and/or material needs, but the Good News the Church announces to us is that God in his compassion walks a head of us sharing in our suffering (Romans 5:8). Trust that there is a godly purpose to the suffering you experience (Romans 5:3-5).
Many of you have expressed having a hard time understanding or accepting the crosses the Lord has put in your lives, especially during this economic crisis. I encourage anyone who is struggling with making sense of suffering in their lives to read our late Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris on the Christian meaning of human suffering: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_11021984_salvifici-doloris_en.html
Suffering empowers us to in our very flesh complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church (Colossians 1:24). Let’s be encouraged then to “in all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:17-18). With the proximity of Labour Day, and particularly if you or someone you know is facing unemployment, I hope that you will recourse to the powerful intercession of Saint Joseph, patron of workers. Please consider praying the Saint Joseph Novena.
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