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Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

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Resolving to Accept the Cross

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By Marc Massery (Jan 1, 2019)
View the previous Discovering the Diary

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

Welcome to you, New Year ... [t]hank You in advance, O Lord, for everything Your goodness will send me. Thank You for the cup of suffering from which I shall daily drink. Do not diminish its bitterness, O Lord, but strengthen my lips that, while drinking of this bitterness, they may know how to smile for love of You, my Master. I thank You for Your countless comforts and graces that flow down upon me each day like the morning dew, silently, imperceptibly, which no curious eye may notice, and which are known only to You and me, O Lord (1449).

Many of us have hopes and dreams that in this new year to come, the Lord will remove some form of suffering currently troubling our lives. Of course, there's something good and right about praying for the Lord to remove some pain, to heal us of some illness, or to mend some broken relationship. God, after all, hates to see us suffer.

But this day 81 years ago, St. Faustina began the new year by thanking the Lord for her suffering. She asked Him not to diminish her pain, but instead, to strengthen her. She did not love suffering for its own sake. She was not a masochist. She loved it because she knew that the Lord redeemed suffering through His Cross and Resurrection. She knew and had already begun to experience that through the Cross, Christ makes us into a new creation.

When we're going through a trial, we naturally tend to look for something or someone to blame. Maybe we blame our physical pain on our doctors or the medical establishment. Maybe we blame our own unhappiness on our lack of money. Maybe we blame a broken relationship in our lives on the other person, attributing any discord to their faults and failures. When we remain in selfish frustration, blaming others for our pain, we turn our backs on the Cross. Unfortunately, when we refuse to accept the suffering that the Lord allows as an opportunity to grow in virtue and holiness, we actually end up experiencing a greater form of pain than we would have if we had just accepted our circumstances to begin with.

Saint Faustina did not blame the Lord for her suffering. She did not blame the other sisters in her convent, nor her superiors, nor anyone else. Nor did she sit in self-pity and condemn herself for her misery. She knew that Satan is the enemy and that the Lord can use our suffering for our good.

So let's not look ahead at this new year only hoping that God will remove some pain or obstacle standing in the way of what we believe will make us happy. We know that we will only have perfect happiness in Heaven. Instead, let's look ahead to 2019 in the hopes that we will learn to accept better the trials the Lord inevitably has in store for our future. Let's hope that through our eager acceptance of all suffering that He will transform us more and more into the image of Christ.

The Holy Spirit says to us today: Come to me with every pain, every suffering. Tell me what's on your mind and on your heart. I want to help you bear your cross, as I bore mine. Through your trials, I want to teach you to know the love of the Heavenly Father, to see how much good He has in store for you, and to learn more and more to trust in His divine will.

My prayer: Lord, it's so hard sometimes to be grateful in the face of discomfort and suffering. I don't fully understand why you send certain trials, but I believe that You have a purpose for each and every pain. Instead of complaining this new year, I resolve to accept all the crosses You send my way, knowing that You will use them for my good and for the salvation of the world. Jesus, I trust in You!

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maria - Jan 2, 2019

please pray for me,im in hard way now,hope God will answer y prayers this time

John - Jan 1, 2019

Christine, I do hope from the store you shared that you are going to Al-Anon on a very frequent basis. If not please do so as fast as you can! I go to Al-Anon I understand to a certain extent your pain because I have recovering addict at home and her 2 month old child! just remember that God does not give us more than we can handle but he is there to help us handle what he's given us! God bless you!

Toni - Jan 1, 2019

We will pray for you ..for strength peace and happiness. God will never abandon his children.

Christine - Jan 1, 2019

I already bear a big cross! My two alcoholic sons are in jail and one of them badgers me to do things for him daily. The older one wants me to handle his checking account. My husband has a restraining order on the younger son for good reason at the time but refuses to lift it so my son isn’t homeless when he is released. My husband is handicapped with COPD. and I still have to work full time at 70 years old! I also bore the burden of being the only daughter who took care of my mother who had dementia and died at age 92! I had to take care of all her bills and find a way to get her to a nursing home. Also my first husband of 19 years died at age 43 of alcoholism! I have carried many crosses and am exhausted!