Upon graduation from college, I assumed I was, without question, grown up. Wisdom and sophistication were words obviously coined to describe the extraordinary 22-year-old me. Fast-forward three years. I’m struggling and bewildered in New Haven, Connecticut. A friend, older and infinitely wiser (although I couldn’t recognize that at the time), gave me a book of meditations by Mother Teresa. It took the passing of time and change of venue before I read it. One passage, selected for Lent, transformed me:
“Suffering, if it is accepted together, borne together, is joy. Remember that the Passion of Christ ends always in the joy of the Resurrection of Christ, so when you feel in your own heart the suffering of Christ, remember the Resurrection has to come—the joy of Easter has to dawn. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ. Suffering in itself does not bring joy, but Christ as seen in suffering does.”
Suffering is a fact for Mother Teresa, an everyday reality, yet so is the Resurrection–“the joy of the Risen Christ.” Identifying Christ in the midst of darkness, both as one who suffered and one who brings light, proved the greatest blessing of my young life. My bewilderment and struggling became more acute, to tell the truth, yet I no longer fear suffering or seek to escape it. I look for wherever Jesus might be waiting for me.
Links to the appointed readings and prayer for today: