Christianity: A Contact Sport

Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:

Now, during this Lent, I often experience the Passion of the Lord Jesus in my own body. I experience deeply in my heart all that Jesus suffered, although no exterior sign betrays these sufferings of mine. Only my confessor knows about them (Diary, 203).

Christianity is not a spectator sport. It's a contact sport. In other words, if we live the life Jesus calls us to, we will experience His Passion in one way or another.

Though we may not all experience the Passion in the same ways, the Lord will nonetheless allow us to experience similar pain, rejection, and humiliation to what He endured.

Still, Jesus begs us not to be afraid. Our suffering in this life does not mean that God has abandoned us. It does not mean that He is not good. After all, God allowed His own Son to suffer and die the most shameful, excruciating death on the Cross. Also, throughout her Diary, St. Faustina talks about the immense suffering she endured for His sake. It may seem counterintuitive, but suffering is not a sign of God's disfavor. In fact, it's often a sign of God's favor.

Though Jesus suffered much, and He will allow us to suffer too, remember that pain and death did not have the final say. Christ rose again and entered into His glory. So, too, in our lives. If we persevere, we will experience an increasing awareness of His presence in our midst and the victory of the Resurrection for all eternity.

Jesus says to us: Do not fear suffering in this life. I will give you everything you need to endure it. Through your pain, I bring you closer to Me. The closer you get to Me, the more you will come to see that My love is the only thing that can truly satisfy your aching heart.

My prayer: Jesus, help me not to despair in the face of suffering. Give me the strength to endure and the courage to lean on You when I can hardly stand. Remind me of your bitter Passion when I complain about my suffering, and restore within my soul the joyful hope of the Resurrection.

View the previous Discovering the Diary.

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