When Someone Showed Me the Way of Hope
A couple of years ago, I went to the funeral of a five-month-old baby boy. He passed away after fighting against the life threatening birth defects of Trisomy 18. That night I wept. Especially after listening to a worship song about joy coming in the morning. “What a lie,” I thought. Joy won’t come in the morning for this child’s parents.
I felt cold and bitter and asked my husband how one ever finds hope after losing their newborn son. He hugged me as I vented. But it took some time for me to warm back up to God and trust that He was a loving Father. What eventually helped draw my heart back to Him was an excerpt from a letter that Pope Saint John Paul II wrote on human suffering:
In general it can be said that almost always the individual enters suffering with a typically human protest and with the question ‘why’. He asks the meaning of his suffering and seeks an answer to this question on the human level... He does not discover this meaning at his own human level, but at the suffering of Christ... it is then that man finds in his suffering interior peace and even spiritual joy.
I was the human protesting and asking the question “why”.
But then, I thought of Mary.
Shortly after the birth of her son, she and her husband presented Jesus in the temple. It was there they heard the words from the prophet Simeon saying that their Son would be a sign that would be contradicted, “and you yourself a sword will pierce” (Luke 2:35).
Despite this message, Mary didn’t live her life ridden with anxiety. She pondered these words in her heart, trusted in God’s plan, and humbly accepted her part in it. She endured the suffering she would encounter with love, rather than resentment.
In times of our own great suffering, or when we are interceding for others, Mary invites us to persevere in prayer with her. The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are especially powerful during challenging times.
Despite Simeon's message, Mary didn’t live her life ridden with anxiety. She pondered these words in her heart, trusted in God’s plan, and humbly accepted her part in it. #prayerpledge //Click to tweet
Let Us Pray
Blessed Mother, today we entrust to you all the situations in our lives that are overwhelming. From the answers we need to the hopelessness we feel, we offer them to you, knowing that you will present our feeble hearts to your Son with great love. May we, like you, always choose radical trust in the God Who loves us. Amen!
Has there been a season of despair in your life in which the teachings or writings of the Church have comforted you and reminded you of your purpose?
How does the life of Mother Mary speak to you about hope? What draws you most to her in this regard?