The Great Sifting



THERE will come a moment when we will walk by faith, not by consolation. It will seem as though we have been abandoned… like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. But our angel of comfort in the Garden will be the knowledge that we do not suffer alone; that other’s believe and suffer as we do, in the same unity of the Holy Spirit.

Surely, if Jesus continued along the Way of his Passion in a certain abandonment, then so will the Church (cf. CCC 675). This will be the great test. It will sift the true followers of Christ like wheat.

Lord, help us to remain faithful.

The Master Painter



JESUS does not take away our crosses — He helps us to carry them.

So often in suffering, we feel God has abandoned us. This is a terrible untruth. Jesus promised to remain with us "until the end of the age."



God permits certain sufferings in our lives, with the precision and care of a painter. He allows a dash of the blues (sorrow); He mixes in a bit of red (injustice); He blends a bit of grey (lack of consolation)… and even black (misfortune).

We mistake the stroke of the coarse brush hairs for rejection, abandonment, and punishment. But God in his mysterious plan, uses the oils of suffering—introduced into the world by our sin—to create a masterpiece, if we let him.

But not all is grief and pain! God also adds to this canvas yellow (consolation), purple (peace), and green (mercy).

If Christ Himself received the relief of Simon carrying his cross, the consolation of Veronica wiping his face, the comfort of the weeping women of Jerusalem, and the presence and love of his Mother and beloved friend John, will not He, who commands us to pick up our cross and follow Him, not also permit consolations along the Way as well?