As I mentioned in a previous blog, I believe that when we die we will get our new eyes from which we see Jesus; we see Mary; we see the truth about ourselves in the Light of God’s mercy. Meanwhile, before our death, we have the opportunity to grow in faith to such a degree we can begin to see God’s action in our lives as if we had those new eyes already. It is a road, and I believe it is my road with Blessed Mother that is helping me to see things through the eyes of faith.
Today we had the reading from the book of Job. Our pastor reminded us about the story of Job. How he was an example for us of what it means to persevere in the midst of trials. The timing of this reading was amazing to me because in my life I see nothing but crazy trials being given to my dear ones. Things I couldn’t imagine happening are now happening in the lives of those nearest and dear to me. A priest friend often reminds me not to ask “why?” when confronted with these trials, but rather to ask “what for?” Job must have wondered, “What for, LORD?” And the answer was given to us in the Scriptures – he was given the trials to be an example for us that GOD alone is GOD and GOD alone suffices.
I find myself asking, what does that look like in my life?
For example: I came home from a vacation a few weeks ago on the day of my child’s birthday. I wanted to celebrate with him, so my husband and I picked up cake and ice-cream on the way home from the airport. We were in good moods, ready to surprise him. When I arrived home, however, I discovered dirty counters and dishes that were there when I had left 5 days before. My spirit of joy quickly turned into a spirit of resentment. I wasn’t able to keep from verbally attacking my birthday boy when he walked into the house after us. Were my reprimands so important that I needed to spoil the birthday celebration? My husband didn’t think so! By focusing on my own feelings, I allowed that negative spirit to spill onto everyone in the house.
The next day, the counter was still a mess and I was still upset. Even though I had taken my resentments to the altar at Mass that morning, I wasn’t able to control my reactions when I saw my son again. Only this time, I allowed my assumptions to come out – I made a huge generalization and said “you did nothing while we were gone!” Oh, my, my, my…I fell right into the trap! Now, I forced my son to share how he spent an entire afternoon doing laundry from a fruit fly infestation in the bathroom hamper. He had done something – and he hadn’t wanted to complain about it – but my pressing and pressing pushed his pride into desiring rescue.
What for, Lord?
This simple trial got me to remember I am not GOD and I cannot rely on anyone other than GOD.
Who am I? Figuratively, I am the Ebola virus, ready to destroy all spiritual good GOD gives me. But, more importantly, who is Mary? Mary is the direct action of GOD in my life. She is holding me exactly because I am full of pride, lack trust, and, if left on my own, would never learn from my past mistakes. Before my entrustment, I would have justified my resentments and my reactions, and I would have solicited the same support from my husband and friends – thereby keeping myself at a distance from God’s mercy and, in a way, diminishing the spiritual lives of my dear ones. Since entrustment, I see the whole thing differently. I see that GOD allowed this event. Unlike Job, I do not persevere in faith; I am quick to fail when presented with adversity. I am not shown this to become discouraged, though, but rather to make use of this very weakness. When I use my weakness to climb back into the arms of Blessed Mother, She can obtain from God the transformation of my spiritual misery into a happy fault. She is able to immerse me once again in the Redemption of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And when I beg for repair, She is the figurative antiviral drug, obtaining the graces to heal all my (and Her) dear ones I wound along the way.
A child of God being led by Mary is certain that God loves him in spite of the abyss of one’s evil. He believes that the abyss of God’s Love exceeds in an infinite way even the deepest abyss of human nothingness and of sin. (S.C. Biela, In The Arms of Mary, 2nd. ed, rev. [Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005], 162.)