Take Courage . . .

Earlier this week we ended our dialogue with words from Peter, but today we begin with words from the venerable saint:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

One of the most important lessons we teach our students about their faith here at St. Francis is found in this verse and comes in two parts.

The first part is this: Our faith requires that we will suffer. It is part of the Christian experience.

St. John of the Cross said it best, “The road is narrow. He who wishes to travel it more easily must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane. In other words, he must be truly resolved to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”

And, St. Ignatius Loyala encouraged us with this, “If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.

The second part is this: Thankfully, our faith assures us that this suffering is only for a little while and that we will be granted full restoration in eternity.

To this point, St. Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi reminds us that, “You will be consoled according to the greatness of your sorrow and affliction; the greater the suffering, the greater will be the reward.

And, St. Teresa of Avila, exhorts, “Suffering is a great favor. Remember that everything soon comes to an end . . . and take courage. Think of how our gain is eternal.”

So for those who are seeking wholeness and restoration from today’s suffering, take courage!

If you are suffering in and for Christ, it is only temporary and it can be of great benefit. More importantly, God promises you will find restoration and wholeness in eternity.