An important message to those that are suffering
by Fr Ted Toppses
Many people suffer at this time of year. Perhaps it is because they are missing a loved one, they may be enduring the aggression of others, having illness in their lives, seeing a loved one suffer, or even loneliness. The darkness in our life is a part of the fallen reality of this world we live in now, and seems to grip all of us at times. The world contains darkness, however it also contains Light.
Let us be reminded of John 1:1-5:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
In our own personal darkness, despair can race into our hearts. We are challenged with the choice of either letting it consume us, or to turn to the One True Light. Our challenge during these dark times is to enter our place of prayer, to sit quietly, and begin our prayer. Our challenge is to close our eyes and shut out the world so that the eyes of our soul can begin to comprehend the True Light of God that is always there. At first it may seem a dim light like candle in the distance, but later it will be seen brighter than we can even comprehend. When we feel we are in utter darkness, as we begin to comprehend the light during prayer. It seems only a small shining glimmer, and yet even then, it begins to shatter the darkness.
When we are challenged with the hardships of life we must understand that this burden is not carried by us alone. Christ suffered on the Cross so we would never have to suffer alone again. Christ suffered to give our suffering meaning. Christ suffered to bring us above this world as He humbled Himself below. Christ suffered that we can have true joy in the sharing of His death and Resurrection. We can even have this joy in this earthly life because of Christ. We can even have His Love and Peace during the suffering of this life.
Offer your suffering to Him who wants to carry it with you. Pray and do not let despair enter your mind. Be satisfied because whatever the situation, we can always place it in Christ’s Holy Hands. Take your time to be with Christ every day in that quiet place where God can be heard. If we live each moment with a prayer in our heart we transcend this world and rise above it. When the holy martyrs faced their times of suffering they were able to endure, and transcend the suffering because they were not alone, the Lord Himself was with them.
Light can be hard to see in the darkness of the night. With earthly eyes we may try to see, but we will fail. It is with the Godly eyes of our heart and soul that we begin to comprehend the Light. We may live in a world that contains darkness; we are however always surrounded by the Light of Christ.
In His Love, In Our Love, In Our Love Together,
Fr Ted Toppses 12-31-2012