“Do not allow the sad spectacle of human injustice to disturb your soul.” St. Padre Pio
I recently experienced a misunderstanding at my workplace. It was rectified quickly but it left me wondering. These misunderstandings seem to happen to me more than a few times. I was happy that it was all cleared up, but I asked among my friends about this situation. It seems that misunderstandings happen often and, in a society, where people do not appear to take the time to get to know one another, it might happen again. One friend responded to my question by telling me that maybe these misunderstandings happened because the Lord is trying to teach us something and we have yet to learn the lesson. We are difficult students I would think.
“Let us not forget: we are a pilgrim church, subject to misunderstanding, to persecution, but a church that walks serene, because it bears the force of love.” Archbishop Romero
St. Elizabeth of Portugal married at the age of 12 and her husband, King Deniz was not an easy man. He was quick-tempered and he spent much time living a life of immorality. St. Elizabeth knew this, but she prayed for him and her children. The king spied on her, and he was infuriated when he found her giving money to the poor. He tried to get it back, but the Lord intervened, and he understood that the money needed to stay with the poor. Another great example for us is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. He was young, popular, and many people admired him. He came from a family with money, and he helped the poor. This led to his contracting one of their diseases from which he died. At the funeral, his family asked who the people were who had come to the funeral and how they knew Pier Giorgio. They responded that he had always helped them. The family was shocked. It would have been easier to be suspicious and angry, but the family understood after this great person’s death that he had done great things.
“Foolish is he who follows the pleasures of this world because these are always fleeting and bring much pain. The only true pleasure is that which comes to us through faith.” Pier Giorgio Frassati
Such great people to admire! Living contrary to what society expects is very difficult. We suffer a great deal from the wrath and suspicion of others. Sometimes, when I find myself at morning mass, it seems there are so few people there. However, we cannot limit ourselves to what we see. God works in mysterious ways surely. However, our finite minds cannot comprehend such greatness.
“Saints are people who belong fully to God. They are not afraid of being mocked, misunderstood or marginalized.” Pope Francis
It is a great challenge. I took my friends and family to visit my dear friends in the Carmelite cloister recently. They always make a good impression on everyone they meet. I watch them as they communicate through the grate and listen attentively as they take time out of their busy schedule. I mentioned this visit to the students I teach, and they wondered what the nuns do during the day. One asked if they play video games. Of course, they do not. They pray for us. It is a huge responsibility. They are lanterns for us in a dark world; society might misunderstand who they are but God does understand them. And he really does make our lives clear.
“Nothing can happen to me that God doesn’t want. And all that He wants, no matter how bad it may appear to us, is really for the best.” St. Thomas More