Good morning, Sisters,
We are coming up on the middle of Lent right now. Can you believe it? I feel like just yesterday I was amazed that Lent was about to start.
So where are we at? Our resolutions have started to set in as habits (hopefully) and maybe we don’t even miss that extra glass of coffee like we did a week ago. Maybe we’re feeling really good about our current prayer routine or daily reading materials. Whatever you had set out to do this Lent, I pray that you are pursuing it with your whole heart and truly reaping the benefits.
BUT, on the other hand, Lent can be hard. Yes, you read that right. It can be a trying time, especially if you are striving for greater faith or virtue.
My struggle this Lent has also been one of my greatest resolutions. I have never had a deep connection with the rosary. I find myself getting caught up in the words and not actually praying, you could say. As someone who has grown up Catholic and surrounded by people who have deep relationships with this prayer, this has been a big cross for me. Yes, I see beauty in the rosary and I strive to hold onto that beauty every time I pray it. But it’s still a struggle.
This Lent, I kind of set out to fix my ‘Rosary Problem’. But that’s not how God works.
No, God works through the constant pulling at our hearts. He won’t just snap and fix all our problems usually. Rather, He works through our struggles and our annoyances. He is teaching us to be persistent and to continue to try.
Whether you are working through a spiritual struggle or just not feeling it right now, you are not alone. Saints from every century of the church have talked about the idea of desolation and seemingly “unfulfilled faith”. Saints like Mother Teresa, John of the Cross, Therese, and Ignatius, arguably some of the holiest people to walk the planet, have experienced long periods of trial. Gosh, Mother Teresa, noted to be the happiest person alive in her time, lived under constant desolation for some thirty years.
These saints truly help us to put trials of faith into perspective. St. John of the Cross once said,
Desolation is a file and the endurance of darkness is preparation for great light.
Desolation is not forever. It is just a chapter. I love the way that he put this. When we agree to come along with Christ on a tiring journey, He is not asking us to be tired forever. He isn’t asking us to live out of our backpacks indefinitely. He is asking us to walk with Him on the rough path, just as long as we are able. Remember, Christ will never try us beyond our strength. If anything, He is teaching you that you are stronger than you think.
But wait, there’s more. Yes, Desolation is a file, a chapter, a set time in the eyes of God. But it isn’t the end. Look at the end of that quote and rest in the hope that lies there. “Darkness is preparation for great light”!! That sounds a whole lot like Easter, if you ask me.
Trial prepares us for the true light of Christ. It prepares us for greater, bigger, wonderful things that we might not even imagine right now. That is why desolation is so beautiful, because it allows us to grow more in the future.
My friends, no matter what you might be going through right now, Christ has an amazing plan waiting on the other side. You have nothing to fear… In fact, it you are struggling right now, keep this verse as your anthem…
“Do not fear, I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
I pray that you will keep these words close and never forget how very true they are. We have so much to look forward to during this Lenten season. Easter is just around the corner!!