Suffering What Is

3 Apr

“Is it fair to have given us the memory of what was and the desire of what could be when we must suffer what is?”  ~ Neil Jordan, The Dream of a Beast

When I came upon this quote, I thought immediately about our present circumstances.  Yesterday, our governor mandated that the remainder of the school year be spent in eLearning.  Our students are not to return to their buildings for the rest of the academic year.  They knew what they had and they have desire to return, especially those who are in eighth grade or seniors in high school or college.  They are missing out on milestone moments:  proms, graduations, and other events marking their achievement and advancement.

We look at life as it was several months ago and we have a desire to have things return to how they were.  In all honesty, I do not think that will ever happen.  We cannot return to the way things were.  We are being radically changed each day that we are in a stay-in-place modality.  Our economy is suffering and might end up being worse that it was many years ago.  Our morale is suffering.  We want to be out and about, meeting with friends, and doing all sorts of communal activities.

What we must do, however, is suffer the time that we are separated from family and friends.  We suffer for a very good and noble reason: the reduction of the spread of COVID-19.  Noble or not, we suffer.

How should we suffer?  I would say, we should suffer by taking on the mantle of Christ who suffered like none of us could imagine because He loved us so much.  Jesus took off His cloak of glory and clothed Himself in our own flesh.  He became one of us, feeling like we feel and suffering the agony of the cross.

He did all of that because He had the memory of what was — our living with Him before the fall and the arrival of original sin — and had the desire of what could be — our return to Him.  But, in order for that to happen, He had to suffer the pain of rejection, abandonment, and crucifixion.  He took on that suffering willingly out of love for us.

If He could take on that suffering, we can surely endure what we are going through at the present time.  If you find this time to be unbearable, turn to the Lord and ask Him to help you bear your suffering as He bore His.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God for the grace to endure suffering according to the attitude of Christ.

Remember:  The Fridays of Lent are Days of Abstinence