Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

In church last week the priest spoke of suffering.

He cautioned us – Do not become armchair Catholics – suffering is intuitive to this thing we call living.

jesus-cross-summit-cross-37737 (1)There is no question my faith has gotten me through this difficult divorce and every other hard time before it.

I am a proud Catholic and hold fast to my Christianity.

Without it, I would have become embittered.

I speak not just of the divorce but the narrative of my childhood. My mother put her spiritual spin on our lives. We were not abandoned by a father who could never overcome his drinking but rather special and called upon by God to experience such things to expose our greater gifts. We would become stronger and better human beings.

Fortunately, we believed her.

And to this day, my siblings and I continue to walk the talk of this spiritual giant we called mom.

I listened to Father speak of riding out the great times in that proverbial armchair. It isn’t the proper seat for a devout Catholic. We need to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. If not, we never truly turn to God to help rinse us off.

Life is simply going too well to need heavy duty spiritual assistance. 

The deep degree of suffering which will continue to shape us, make us better humans, call us to our purpose and closer to Him.

My faith and my Christian mother and now this particular priest remind me soul suffering strengthens.

And…

There are 3 Great Gits of My Catholic Faith:

 

1. Gratitude:

Despite any challenges on our individual paths, we are blessed.

We remind ourselves of all the good God has given us.

Sure, we stumble through the pitfalls but we rise above them by concentrating on what we are grateful for.

 

2. Grace:

We are enabled to live a life of grace because we realize God has created all things in our lives for a reason.

Just as He makes us uniquely individual so He makes our paths.

Absolutely everything is intended and happening for a reason.

 

3. Generosity:

We are taught to touch the lives of others.

It is a part of our purpose to use our God given gifts and resources for the greater good.

To those much is given much is expected and we must help one another as we are all children of God.

There is no ability to be a victim, at least not for long.

 

4. Joy:

Spirituality reinforces joy.

It rejects victimization which frees us from any lingering self-pity.

And allows us to be happy while accepting challenges and suffering – the lows – along with the highs – of this life.

 

Personally, I’m not gonna lie. 

I will shamefully admit I enjoyed my ‘armchair’ years.

My sweet beautiful family seemingly with no true challenges and of course, life on the Jersey Shore where summer seemed to shine brighter.

This Catholic girl feels like she was tossed out of the chair a few too many years ago.

And I’ve been swimming my way back towards it ever since.

How I would like to crawl up into its plump cushions and plop down.

But, frankly even I realize I needed to roll up my sleeves and get dirty in the muck and suffering.

I was far too comfortable.

To experience…

The deep degree of suffering which will continue to shape us, make us better humans, call us to our purpose and closer to Him.

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(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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