Ave Maria Meditations
In the spiritual life we meet not only difficulties which can be surmounted and overcome once and for all by a strong act of courage, but we encounter difficult, painful situations from which it is impossible to escape, and which willingly or unwillingly we must face. There are physical elements which exhaust us and prevent us from extending our activity as we would wish; there are moral sufferings caused by our own temperamental deficiencies or by contact with persons who are opposed to us or do not understand us; there is the pain of seeing our loved one suffer without our being able to relieve them; there is the experience of separation from our friends, and loneliness of heart.
There are also spiritual troubles due to aridity, interior darkness, weariness of mind, temptations, and scruples. In addition to these, there are all the problems, fatigue, and difficulties inherent in our everyday duties. We know that all these things are planned by God for our sanctification and for our good, but that does not prevent us from feeling the weight of them, for suffering is never pleasant and though we will to except all for the love of God, we are sometimes tempted to react or give up or shake off the yolk or we are weighed down with sadness and discouragement. What remedy is there?
There is the remedy which Jesus suggested to the apostles after telling them of the persecution they would have to endure: “In your patience you shall possess your souls”(Lk 21:19). Patience is the virtue which permits us to live in a state of suffering, hardship, and privation without losing our serenity. It enables us to remain firm amid storms, contradictions, and dangers, without becoming irritated or despondent, without being deterred by them.
+Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene