"When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials." —Sirach 2:1
To prepare ourselves for trials, we must expect them. "Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus can expect to be persecuted" (2 Tm 3:12). Expect it. "Christ suffered in the flesh; therefore arm yourselves with His same mentality" (1 Pt 4:1).
The psalmist stated: "If an enemy had reviled me, I could have borne it...but you, my other self, my companion and my bosom friend!" (Ps 55:13, 14) It is hardest to take sufferings inflicted by those closest to us, because we don't expect them to hurt us.
However, we must be like Jesus. He knew and expected that His apostles and disciples would abandon Him, Peter would deny Him three times, and Judas would betray Him. Jesus even knew and expected that each one of us would share in crucifying Him through our sins. Jesus prepared Himself for the greatest of all trials.
Expect suffering, but don't dread it. Rather, in love for Jesus, rejoice in suffering (1 Pt 4:13; Col 1:24).
Prayer: Father, purify me through trials.
Promise: "If anyone wishes to rank first, He must remain the last one of all and the servant of all." —Mk 9:35
Praise: God has shown Joanna what a privilege it is to be chosen for the job of dealing with a son who has mental health issues.
Reference: (Women, plan to begin the season of Lent on March 4th with a retreat that focuses on issues that affect your role and dignity as women. The retreat takes place at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center in the Appalachian setting of rural Adams County, near Peebles, Ohio. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 for more information or to register.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008
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