Little Crosses and Resurrections

By Marc Massery

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

Then I saw the Blessed Virgin, unspeakably beautiful. She came down from the altar to my kneeler, held me close to herself and said to me, "I am Mother to you all, thanks to the unfathomable mercy of God. Most pleasing to Me is that soul which faithfully carries out the will of God." She gave me to understand that I had faithfully fulfilled the will of God and had thus found favor in His eyes. "Be courageous. Do not fear apparent obstacles, but fix your gaze upon the Passion of My Son, and in this way you will be victorious" (449).

Few things strike fear into our hearts like a sudden obstacle standing in the way of what we desire most. Whether it's an illness, a financial crisis, a ruptured relationship, or the loss of a loved one, difficult circumstances can keep us bound in fear and anger if we let them.

But for those of us striving to love God with all our hearts, all obstacles are apparent. Nothing, after all, can keep us from the love of Christ if we make His will our highest goal. In fact, through the grace of God, our trials can help transform us more and more into the image of Christ.

Trials, of course, hurt. No one wants to suffer. But Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary taught us how to take advantage of our sufferings. In the passage above, Mary calls us to meditate on Christ's passion during our trials. As we suffer, Christ, after all, suffers within us, and the Virgin Mary weeps for us just as she wept at the death of Jesus.

If we turn to Christ and the Blessed Mother amidst our trials, parts of us not glorifying to God will be put to death. But thanks to Christ's Resurrection, we will rise anew, not only once and for all after death and judgment. Throughout our lives, the Lord allows us to experience little deaths and little resurrections. That's what it means to grow in holiness.

But during any trial, any obstacle, we must keep our goal in mind: striving to love God and doing His will. He is our health, our protection, our deliverance, our Resurrection, in this life and especially in the life to come.

My prayer: O Mary, please comfort me this day and all days in the face of any apparent obstacles. Whatever the pain, whatever the discomfort, whatever the insecurity, help me to keep in mind the Cross of Christ and the hope of the Resurrection. Through my trials, teach me to love Him as you love Him.

View the previous Discovering the Diary.

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