Monday, May 23, 2016

Suffering and Solidarity

We are all suffering in various ways. It's true.

Some endure greater trials than others at any given time, but we can't really judge the measure of each other's sufferings. Our responsibility is to stand together and help one another in whatever ways we can, to remember that we belong to one another as children of God and brothers and sisters in God's family.

All of us are called, ultimately, to give everything: to pour ourselves out in the complete surrender by which we will truly find ourselves forever through the total and definitive gift of ourselves. God knows the paths that each person needs to travel to make that gift. Everything remains in His hands.

One of the ways God embraces us is through our compassion for one another. Some people are in situations where there is no way to provide them with any immediate comfort, but we must share one another's sufferings and be present to one another nevertheless. To those of us who try to console others, it's important to remember that we never know how we might be helping someone even if he or she doesn't seem to gain some "practical" benefit, or appears unaware of our efforts. Much more important than how a suffering person reacts to what we say or do at a particular moment is how much love and solidarity are really contained in our gestures.

Let us try to think of ways, even very small ways, that we can "stay with one another" in the painful and dark places of our lives.