Saturday, September 24, 2016

Loving One Another is Like Climbing Mountains in the Dark

We cause pain to people we love.

We all do this to one another. We hurt one another. Even when we are trying our best to avoid doing this, it still happens.

This is not to say that we shouldn't try our best.

We must keep trying, always striving to move forward. With God's grace we will grow. The harder we try, the less pain we cause to those we love, and the more we forgive, the more we are healed of the wounds that we have received.

We must try our best. We must struggle with this. God is calling us here. Jesus says, "Love one another."

Still, we must not be discouraged by the fact that we fail so much. We must get up and keep loving, and offer our weakness to God's mercy, trusting in His healing power that works in often hidden ways, but always with perfect wisdom, understanding, and compassion for who we are and for those we love.

God doesn't answer all our questions. He doesn't explain the deep paths of His mercy that is always at work in our lives. He asks us to trust Him.

He allows us to endure the profound pain of not being able to understand one another in so many ways. Our effort to love one another in this present life remains (in some ways) like climbing a mountain in the dark. We keep bumping into the rocks. We keep bumping into each other. In the darkest moments of this journey, however, God remains with us. He enables us to get up again and again, and to help one another, to forgive one another, and to keep going forward.

God is at work in the darkest places. Each of us must believe that Jesus died for me. "The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me" (see Galatians 2:20). God is closest to us in our suffering, and He enables us to go forward and grow in love. As Pope Francis keeps saying, He never abandons us.

He stays with us and endures that "space of darkness" that we so often experience in our relationships with one another, that "space" full of pain and failure and vulnerability and resentment and guilt. That space of darkness that remains even with all of our efforts to love each other. That space of loneliness that we cannot fill up in ourselves and that we will never totally fill or satisfy in those we love.

We have been made for Him, and we need Him -- each of us individually, and in our relationships with one another. We need Him, and He has come to be with us, and His love is always greater.

Jesus on the Cross. For you. For me. For us together. For the world.

He is with us, with such tenderness, with total understanding and compassion, and He wants us to depend on Him.

We don't have to "understand" this. We don't have to feel this. We must trust in Him.

He hears our cry in the darkness. And when we fall and are in pain, we must believe that He is with us even though we can't see Him, and we must cry out to Him to lift us up.

Jesus, I trust in You.