My Beloved the benevolent
Grace and peace wishing you every goodness and blessing
We enjoyed during the month of August the fast of St. Mary and her blessed feast. During this period we remember our mother, the Mother of Light, we also ask for her intercession and learn from her life. I would like us to look up to the Virgin, the Mother of Light, and learn from the way in which she faced suffering, and ask for her intercession – that the Lord may lift the pain and suffering of this world.
St. Mary’s life was not free from pain. She suffered in being orphaned after the departure of her parents, she suffered the emotional pain of seeing the suspicion in Joseph’s eyes when the symptoms of pregnancy started to show, and she also suffered the physical pain of escaping to Egypt. She suffered the unjust accusations from the Jews, and suffered seeing her Son hanging on the wood of the cross. This pain was prophesied by Simeon the elder when he met her and carried her divine Son in his arms and said to her, “Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that the thought of many hearts may be revealed.” Lu.2:35. The sword pierced through her soul, but she endured with faith and trust in the work of Christ for the salvation and the redemption of humanity. The Virgin expressed in her prayer – which the church tradition kept in the prayer of the ninth hour in the sixth litany – when she prayed, “The world rejoices in receiving salvation, while my heart burns as I look at Your crucifixion which You are enduring for the sake of all, my Son and my God”
Pain is a part of our lives, who amongst us has not experienced pain in their life? We can divide pain into four types:
- Physical pain
This is when a physical ailment or hurt (e.g. breaking of a bone) occurs. Physicians try to relieve this pain. Every one of us cares for our body and health to avoid physical suffering.
- Material pain
Christ our Lord performed many miracles to heal diseases and lift physical pain from those around Him.
This occurs when material capabilities are unable to fulfill one’s physical needs. Causing one to feel hungry when there is no food or thirsty when there is no water. Or the pain of being homeless when there is no home. And we need to differentiate between what one needs and wants. One may want something, but it is not really a need, rather it is a desire for worldly things. For example, one may be living in a suitable home but desires a better one as he is comparing to others. One’s desires create a continuous pain stemming from a lack of inner contentment. Money is essential to a person’s life, but the love of money could potentially cause a lot of human pain.
St. Paul the Apostle teaches us, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” 1 Tim.6: -6-9
- Social Pain
This type of pain is a result of conflict and trauma that take place in a society, whether this occurs in a family or church or work or one’s neighborhood – in other words, pain as a result of dealing with others. One must deal with others as they are, and not as they would like them to be. And interacting with others requires love, humility, patience, and endurance. As St. Paul said, “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on Me.” Ro. 15:1-3
- Spiritual Pain
This is the most dangerous type of pain, because it is caused by sin and no repentance. For Christ came to free us from dominion of sin, “Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Jn. 8:34-36
May the Lord lift every pain from us and use us to heal the pains of others through doing good deeds. And may the intercessions of the Virgin Mother of Light support us and may the example of her life enlighten our path in this world. May the Lord bless your offerings and support of Santa Verena Charity programs which seek to heal the suffering of others.