I’m dying, Lord. I’m embarrassed and abashed and defeated at having to admit how weak I am. This has gotten me almost completely on my knees. Yet, through the haze of pain, I cannot deny that I feel your presence in all of this.
“Is that not enough to give you comfort, my child?”
No. No it’s not, Lord. I see now how attached I still am to tangible securities even though these are not secure. I find it easier to cling on to a sinking ship because I can touch it, than to let go and swim towards the shore that I know is just ‘out there’. Too much risk. What if I don’t make it?
“This is the YOU I created, Ann.”
Well it SUCKS being me at times, Lord! I want to be free from all these difficult and disturbing emotions. I don’t want to hurt, I don’t want to suffer. I HATE SUFFERING! Do you hear me? I HATE SUFFERING!!!!
I hate suffering. But I love You. And for your sake, I am willing to endure this horrible way to my Calvary.
Ultimately, there is only one thing I can do that will give me life: Embrace the Cross. The more excruciating the pain, the hotter the flames in the crucible, the more I am being purified for Christ. This is the martyrdom of my life. Just as St. Ignatius of Antioch welcomed the lions’ teeth to grind him into the wheat of Christ, so can I choose to welcome the teeth of these inner “lions” as they grind me into Christ’s wheat too. It’s counter-intuitive. It kills me. But in Christ all things are made new and become worth it.
Would I choose to escape or embrace suffering if suffering can make me a more effective witness in bringing others to Christ? I would choose suffering.
For the sake of these others… these people I barely know but whom I have seen you touch through my willingness to be of service to you… these people I will never really know or love or be loved by, but whom you know and love so intimately… for their sake, I am willing to suffer.
I am not being noble. It’s just that YOU are too valuable a prize to give up on, even when the cost is so high.
I still choose You.
I am troubled now. Yet what should I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name. – Jn 12:27