"By his wounds, you have been healed."
1 Peter 2:24
NOTE: The following is the introduction from the new Pathways book Getting Through the Hurt, which I edited for Abbey Press Publications (I also authored one of the chapters therein). This book, originally published as individual titles in the Abbey Press Catholic Perspectives CareNotes series, focuses on the particularly difficult circumstances of life that many of us face from time to time. I thought the introduction might also serve as a meditation appropriate to the Lenten season. -- Br. Francis
We all know and strive to accept the fact that life presents each one of us with our share of difficulties from day to day. Unfortunately, however, sometimes there also are particularly painful or unsettling circumstances in life which seem to get the best of us. Addiction, divorce, grief, and the anger that arises from feeling unloved and unwanted: these wounds, and so many others, cut very deep. They leave scars which may never entirely heal, and must be struggled with over the course of a lifetime.
The good news—from the Christian perspective—is that we are never alone during such trials. In the cross, God comes to meet us in the person of Jesus. He takes on our suffering, provides it with meaning, and leads us through it to the promise of resurrection. When Jesus rose from the tomb, his wounds were still present—but they had been transformed in a manner that strengthens our faith. “Take courage; I have conquered the world!” he tells us (John 16:33).
With Jesus, we also will prevail—and often through those very difficulties which seem to overwhelm us at times. Getting through the hurt in our lives asks us to claim our wounds, unite them with Jesus, and allow God’s grace to pour in and transform them into the means of discovering new life.
Ultimately, God asks us to trust that his goodness will secure victory over all distress, division, and death. This is the theme presented by the five chapters of this book—originally published by Abbey Press Publications as individual titles in the Catholic Perspectives CareNotes series. In them, we are reminded that having faith does not mean that we will not have troubles, even particularly painful ones at times. However, faith does provide us with the assurance we sometimes need, the endurance to continue our journey, and the wisdom to see and experience God’s saving grace in even the “darkest valley” (cf. Psalm 23:4). May this little book help guide you along the way.
--Br. Francis Wagner, O.S.B.
From: Getting Through the Hurt
© 2015 Abbey Press Publications