Today’s gospel from John 16 contains one of my favorite bible verses:
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.
I’m always amazed by the ability of daily scripture to come to me in a moment of great need. When this happens, as it frequently does, it feels as though the Church has somehow managed to find a way to send a word of comfort that matches my exact situation. The gospel becomes a balm, a talisman I can cling to when I begin to feel knocked off kilter.
I won’t go into any detail, but the past few days have been filled with a bit of my personal definition of “trouble”. This particular trouble is mild by the world’s standards, but in my little universe it constitutes upheaval and creates stress. It will pass, but it will be remembered and will come with a price.
So this morning, as I sat for my morning prayer time, these words of Jesus Christ to his disciples were exactly what I needed to hear. They provided me with the ability to take the stress I was feeling and to turn it into an opportunity for service, for love, for cherishing Christ in the needs of my loved one in trouble.
I took courage.
He has conquered the world.
This afternoon, I paused to consider this word “trouble”.
St. Teresa of Avila spoke of it:
“Let nothing trouble you Let nothing frighten you Everything passes God never changes Patience obtains all Whoever has God Wants for nothing God alone is enough.”
St. Francis de Sales didn’t say the word, but it certainly inspired him:
“All the science of the Saints is included in these two things: To do, and to suffer. And whoever had done these two things best, has made himself most saintly.”
When faced with it, St. Maximilian Kolbe gave his all:
“For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more.”
St. Gemma Galgani seemed to strike at the core of what makes trouble such a beautiful opportunity:
“If you really want to love Jesus, first learn to suffer, because suffering teaches you to love.”
Are you having trouble today?
Let nothing frighten you.
Prepare to suffer still more.
Learn to love.