I become discouraged (Diary, 1487).
Starting our Lenten reflections on how to experience suffering and find in him the loving presence of God, let us try to think about why many of us lose this lesson? Why it is so difficult for us to repeat sincerely with Sister Faustina: Suffering is a great grace; through suffering the soul becomes like the Savior; in suffering love becomes crystallized (Diary, 57). How can we become like God when grieving, anger, rebellion and other difficult feelings arise in our suffering heart? Low resistance to pain makes us immediately throw it away in the form of discouragement, grudge or loud scream. Another way is to push it into the depths of our subconscious. We can do it with our own strength. But are we becoming more like God in this way?
The first step in experiencing suffering by Sister Faustina was that she never stayed alone with it. Tell me about everything, be sincere in dealing with Me, reveal all the wounds of your heart. I will heal them, and your suffering will become a source of your sanctification, Jesus encouraged her. The wound unveiled before God does not remain the same as it used to be. God is not waiting with the healing process. Yes, it is not always the healing process as fast as we would like, but it is always effective. It can start with the fact that we will look at our suffering from a different perspective. We will understand the motives of people who have inflicted this suffering on us, or we will stop blaming ourselves – noticing that our ability to defend ourselves was limited. A wound full of pain can not be exposed to anyone, because only the power of Christ can cause the recovery process to begin.
Describing in the Diary her experience of prayer in the moment of suffering, Sister Faustina notes the words that would disqualify her if this conversation was a job interview or a job application. Lord, my sufferings are so great and numerous and have lasted so long that I become discouraged (Diary, 1447). In other words – I have no strength and motivation, my ways have failed, I am discouraged from following You on the cross. On the other hand, however, she directs these words to the person who is the only one who can remedy this. To Jesus, who knows well the weakness of our nature and gives valuable advice: When boredom and discouragement beat against your heart, run away from yourself and hide in My heart (Diary, 1760). In this way she wins with her own weakness, from holding her back from taking another step. She opens herself to the power of God, thanks to which she lets his grace work in her own powerlessness.
Let’s try the same way. May God be the first to hear from us the story of our failures, when we have struggled with our sufferings. Even if at the beginning it would be a monologue of complaints and grievances surrounded by a stream of tears. Let Him be the first recipient.
Sr. Anna Maria Trzcińska ZMBM