This could not be more timely or powerful, from Beth Haile. (H/T to Deacon Fritz Bauerschmidt for bringing this to my attention.)
I have a brain tumor. Actually two. I was diagnosed last year five days before Christmas. My youngest son was not yet a month old. And my tumors are terminal. Unless something else kills me, my tumors will. I don’t know when. It is not unreasonable that I will see my 35th birthday. It is significantly less likely I will see 40.
There are lots of people—I know they are well-meaning—who say God didn’t will this. This is not his plan. I can’t accept this. This gets God off the hook for something I need Him to be a part of. It makes God absent, except in the most incidental way, from the most significant experience of my life. I want to argue with God, cry out to Him, and maybe eventually, accept what He is doing. We would not the infused virtue of faith if evil in the face of a good God could simply be explained away. I am a Thomist, through and through. But evil does not have a rational answer. It has an encounter. And in our confronting of evil, faith gives us the eyes to see Jesus, the hope to see God’s plan. This is a grace.
This experience, as awful as it is, is God’s will. I think often of Joseph being sold into slavery. “You meant it for evil but I meant it for good.” My tumors are like that. How will God weave good out of this? I don’t know. But I have faith in a good God. I have hope in His good plan. I don’t really speculate about what God is doing, but I know He is at work.
I want to conclude that I love my faith, I love being Catholic. It is a horrible time for the church (why now? I am heartbroken) but I know the church is much bigger than the hierarchy (though what they do matters so much). I am proud to be a member of Jesus’ church. I take great consolation in the fact that his body appears on countless altars around the world, everyday. And I have been privileged to have seen, to have been served by his body, by the finest people of God. In many ways the church is very sick, but I cannot forget that in other ways it is alive and healthy. And I am happy that I get to keep being a part of this church when I die. People are saying that they are praying for a miracle, but I know the miracle has already happened and pretty soon my eternity is going to be Easter morning.
If this doesn’t put things in perspective, nothing will.