It is no wonder that St. Teresa of Avila said to Our Lord, “If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder why You have so few of them!” St. Teresa’s familiarity, frankness, yet undying love towards God gave her the strength to withstand such imposed daily crosses. We cannot look at her overall life and assume it was easy to accept these trials, instead we must examine her life like we do our own. We must focus on the daily struggles and how to trust in Christ to overcome them.
Oftentimes, we focus on the overall accomplishments of the saints and tend to forget that they suffered daily through very similar circumstances as we do. It would be remiss to assume that each saint did not struggle and fight each day over personal temptations and interior flaws. Yet, these imperfections are the very reason we celebrate their sainthood now. It was by conquering such flaws, through the tendencies of Original Sin, that allowed St. Teresa and all the saints to finally rejoice with Our Lord in heaven. We must begin anew each day.
Yet, when we are in the midst of interior or external struggles, how can we remain balanced while steadfastly treading these treacherous waters? We all handle situations differently, depending on our God-given temperaments, personality traits, and learned behaviors, but as Catholics, we can find comfort through the teachings of Holy Mother Church to survive hardships and crosses.
God’s Will is not our will. This statement sometimes appears to be on repeat in many Catholic circles, but the truth behind such words are comforting. It is almost impossible to understand and trust the Will of God until a soul has the ability to reflect back on life’s circumstances. It is not until after a soul overcomes deep trials that they will be able to truly understand the level of dependency necessary upon the Lord. At this time, it will be much easier to partially understand subtle reasons for our personal sufferings.
I have always tried to find comfort in trusting in God Will’s, but it was not until after my fifth miscarriage that took me into the emergency room, when I reached a point of true submission. Not in a feeling of defeat but an overall sense of peace. Being “gifted” with a choleric temperament, my desire to plan and control can overwhelm and create anxiety in my soul, but difficult phases in my life have brought me to a higher level of peace that can only been attained by God’s Love. It was through these personal losses that brought me to a welcome level of trust and submission of my will to His.
My Lord, it is time to move on. Well then, may your will be done.
O my Lord and my Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come.
It is time to meet one another. —St. Teresa of Ávila, upon her deathbed.
Life isn’t easy but have faith. Each trial we endure and surpass brings new life. Just as we survive each Lent and rejoice on Easter Sunday, so to we can let out a sigh of relief as one trial passes, even if it is only for a moment before the next begins. We may dream of a life without crosses, but if there was no suffering, why would be search for life beyond this world?
As fallen beings, we would become too comfortable and only seek immediate pleasures without moderation. Instead, we learn to endure our crosses with love and acceptance, knowing that there are reasons beyond our knowledge. There is comfort in knowing that God has the ability to see everything all at once unlike us who can only focus on the micro. The beauty in suffering, is having the faith to recognize that they are not everlasting. That each trial and each pain will pass but can be offered up for other souls who may be suffering more than us.
We might not have control over the timeline, but there is faith and hope knowing that God is watching over us as we unite ourselves with His Cross on Calvary through love.
It is Love alone that gives worth to all things. —St. Teresa of Ávila
Copyright 2018 Danielle M. Heckenkamp