That's what friends are for....
These past months have been very difficult months for me. I have had many "weighty items" on my plate and trying to map out the best course for all has been a challenge. It has been a challenge because regardless of the decisions that have to be made, I know that "ripple effects" occur. There are those who are "in the know" and those "who aren't in the know"; there are those who believe that "they should have been in the know" and those who "are in the know" who feel that their voice was unheard.
I often, in times such as this, rely on the Words of Scripture, of which we know there are many, but one in particular which states: "In this world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world!" And my response is: "Yeh, Right!" Be of good cheer? Who are you kidding? It's more like, be of leaving and get the heck out of the situation; be of pointing the finger and placing the blame on others; be of self doubt, hatred and dismay; be of just "forget it!"
Those responses are typical, and I would say at times, "normal" human responses. However, those typical and normal responses are of those who have forgotten, misplaced, and/or haven't had the insight to remember that there is always the ONE who has gone before us. That always in moments of fear, persecution, depression, anger, frustration, quandary, or judgement, that our Jesus, the Son God, was sent in Human Form, one like us in all things but sin, to experience these before us so that when we experience them, we will not be alone.
I was shocked back in August when my aunt, who was my mother's sister, was diagnosed in one day with cancer of the brain, lung, breast, bone and beyond. How could she have not known this? How could she not have experienced some sort of symptom or pain? I believe she did. I believe that in her generation, having some sort of pain meant that you were alive! Now, I am not advocating NOT going to doctors or NOT seeking the proper medical attention/routine exams, but I am also NOT advocating popping a pill for every hurt and/or struggle.
As Christians, as Catholics to whom I minister, we are called to understand that Christ is with us and has gone before us marked with the Sign of the Cross to help us understand that if we are going to be more like him, then we too will be "lifted up." And even though it may seem to be our "enemies" who are lifting us up -- it is truly Christ who not only LIFTS US UP, but RAISES US to be more like him each step of the way.
The shadow of death may be long and dark, but the Easter Gospels tell us they are not forever. I believe that each of us, after we have experienced our own cross, trials, pains and death, will say what the Sioux Indians have said long ago: "Why was I so frightened?"
"In this world ye shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, be of good cheer, for I have overcome, the world." The savant tells us that those of us who are prepared to die are truly prepared to live.