Book Review at the Register and Online Evangelism

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Today I am at the National Catholic Register with a review of Fr.’s book “The Wrath of God” by Livio Franzaga.
Try to get back on the writing horse of submitting weekly and writing daily.

This morning an online friend reached out, broken by long-enduring circumstances. It was hard to offer comfort when the friend wouldn’t allow the reality of anything beyond now. How to bear witness to the meaning of suffering in a suffering world without God, articulated as God, is difficult. My friend knows that I believe, but this was not the time to discuss what I believe, but to offer as much comfort as possible in a veiled way.

Everyone has times when all they can do is scream. Suffering is not something we have to endure – and life is absolutely hard because suffering is a basic fact of existence. My husband sometimes puts it like this: “It’s a bad plan. – that is to say everything that is not beautiful, everything that hurts or forces us to struggle.

(The bad part of this reality is the result of a twisting of God’s good plan by someone who only wishes us harm. However, God, being God, can even direct suffering towards our becoming more who we are. called to be, and is not above using all the time to get there). – thoughts that reflect reality but could not be written down.

The redemptive component of suffering is hope, perseverance and courage. When we carry on, even after crying out to the universe, loving others, offering kindness to a stiff-necked world that seems to recognize no hurt or hurt other than its own, we are in our own way, participating in the healing of the world.

My grandfather said to my father, when he was desperate that his firstborn weighed two pounds and eleven ounces and needed a tracheostomy: “Sooner or later, we all end up at the foot of the cross, bawling like a baby. He had lost a son. He also had another son who suffered from lifelong mental illness. He had been at the foot of that cross.

My schizophrenic uncle made everyone in the house stand up and make them pray the rosary when they brought me back for the operation that was supposed to save my life. “Pray for Baby Sherry,” he taped to every bathroom mirror in an era before post-it notes.

Even now, this story moves me – it shows two fathers and the love of an entire family, although I suspect some grumbled when their crazed brother woke them up. It reveals the reality of love – which it strengthens and heals long after the day it is offered, for suffering is temporary. Love is eternal and resonates beyond all pain.

The suffering is still a colossal pain in the buttocks.

My friend’s pain continues, as does the scream. So I will ask everyone to pray to the Blessed Mother to intercede for my friend. Put a mental post-it on your bathroom mirror to remind you when you brush your teeth, because the collective testimony of faith unseen by all but the All-Seeing Love One will relieve some of the pain, part of the hurt the world has caused my friend, even though my friend doesn’t know it yet.

Hail Mary, full of grace…


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