My brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
I think every book of the Bible has somewhere in its pages a few verses about slogging through the messy stuff of life. Trials of every kind meet us throughout the years. Sometimes we bring the trials on ourselves. Others seem to have been particularly fitted for us. Some suffering is random and incomprehensible and unfair.
It is very very human for us to want to escape problems and all their consequences. And yet we can’t. Everyone has to face the tragedies of life in one way or the other. It is the fool for Christ who can see in the sorrow the sacred opportunity to unite his or her sufferings with those of their Crucified Lord.
Part of maturing as an adult is the inner capacity to take responsibility for our life no matter what it brings, no matter what it costs. As James says—and as every parent teaches their child—testing produces endurance, and when endurance has its full effect, when we have been pinned to the ground in the wrestling match with sorrow, when we can’t escape…when endurance has its full effect, we mature and become complete, lacking in nothing.
Such endurance pushes us through the darkness into hope, a hope that does not disappoint. Then it is the fool who has taken the gamble of Calvary, who discovers that Christian discipleship isn’t really foolish at all, but is remarkably wise and absolutely rewarding.
Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP
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