Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trials? or rather offers of Invitation

It is a repeated observation of St. John of the Cross that God frustrates souls in a preliminary trial when he intends to draw them closer in love. Here a pattern is noted, calling for our insight. No doubt we need to understand the Providence of God differently.

Trials do not reflect a sign of disfavor with God. Rather, the reverse is indicated. God is offering an invitation, even if it hardly seems so. He is teaching, even if it seems a harsh lesson. It may be a hard truth to accept that God’s greater love is proven by the prevalence of trials we could not foresee, and by their lingering despite every plea for their removal. It is a rare soul that learns not to be surprised at this.

There are indeed many shocks in what can seem to be God’s rough treatment. Perhaps it is not unusual that we attempt to persuade God to be more gentle in his manner. It appears sometimes that nothing moves God  in this regard. More love for God, for example, rather than overcoming a trial, will seem on occasion to extend the duration of the time of trial. But at the end of the day we face always the same question. Would we prefer to love less if it meant not to suffer?

- Father Donald Haggerty from his book, Contemplative Provocations

Here is another great meditation from the book by Father Haggerty:
We may know that God will not allow himself to be apprehended easily, but sometimes we forget the complimentary truth. Once he is known to some degree, he will not permit us to keep at a distance on limited terms, maintaining a prudential respect. He is a hidden God, but when he deigns to show himself, he demands afterward our passionate pursuit.