Already at the beginning of this year, the Lord has presented quite a handful of opportunities for me to make acts of faith–my brother’s failing kidneys, financial woes, the death of my dad’s brother, months worth of unresolved issues at work, and the routinely challenges to grow in virtues I lack. Needless to say, it’s been a trying month. In hindsight, I’ve found it amusing reading my previous post from January 6 and the mention of having faith the size of a mustard seed especially because that was before the more recent developments unfolded. Thankfully, I managed to keep in mind that if I can continue giving God continuous acts of faith, even if it’s just a little bit, He can move mountains. Miracles can happen. Miracles have happened and will continue to.
Since Saturday morning, I’ve had St. Mark’s “Calming of a Storm at Sea” Gospel reading in my mind. This has grown to become more meaningful in my spiritual journey in recent months because of a book I read that offered an alternate response. Instead of waking Jesus up during the storm and pleading, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” the author of the book offered this:
“With You, Jesus, I cannot perish; You are always in the boat with me; what have I to fear? You may sleep; I shall not awaken You. My poor nature will tremble, oh yes. But with all my will I shall remain in peace in the midst of the storm, confident in You. You are hiding Yourself, but I know well where You are hidden: You are in my heart. I do not feel it, but I know it. I believe in Your love for me and I believe in my love for You.”
I find so much comfort in being vulnerable with God. It’s not always easy, but there always comes a point when you just realize everything in life is out of your reach, control. With just one word, He can calm a violent storm. “Who then is this Whom even wind and sea obey? –this is a tremendous source of comfort particularly as I wait for Him to waken.
Moreover, God has been reminding me again and again of joy. I attended my community’s annual silent retreat two weekends ago and the theme was on joy (inspired by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium). Last night I attended a talk and the theme was on joy. Even in the midst of suffering, I am assured of the security of my joy. Joy cannot be taken away because it was never mine in the first place. I also know that the cross you and I bear leads to joy, just as the cross Jesus carried to Calvary and eventually died upon brought about eventual joy. Through His death on the cross, He brought new life.
There is plenty to rejoice in.
Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.