We all carry a cross. Whatever yours, I pray Our Lady of Sorrows and her Son walk so closely beside you that you feel your burden lifted.
A strange paradox of faith is that we often feel God accompanying us most closely when we are going through our most difficult moments.
When everything is going well, we easily attribute this success to our own excellent management and our relationship with God might be pushed to the back burner.
When things begin to get hard, we often don’t feel close to God either, perhaps questioning why he allowed this hardship.
But in the hardest and darkest moments, it’s common to feel a strong sense of God’s presence holding us up and helping us to carry this burden that is too great for us to bear alone.
Why does God feel near in suffering?
Because Christ suffered and died on this earth, he walks beside us in a deeply intimate way in these hardest moments.
Similarly, the saints and Our Lady faced sorrow and grief: While the world tells us to run from challenges and struggles, there is no saint who did not endure hardship on this earth.
Our Lady of Sorrows, whose feast is today, is a powerful reminder that God and his beloved ones all endured sorrow. Their presence can bring consolation when our own griefs come.
St. Faustina once wrote, “Suffering is a great grace; through suffering the soul becomes like the Savior; in suffering love becomes crystallized; the greater the suffering, the purer the love.”
Certainly it takes a special way of seeing things to think of suffering as a grace, but there is something powerful to ponder here. What graces can come through sorrow, especially when we feel God’s presence in a deeper way than when life is easy?
Walking with Our Lady of Sorrows
So many of us carry deep sorrow as we journey through life.
Perhaps you struggle with a chronic illness, and everyday tasks that are simple for others feel like an uphill battle for you.
Perhaps you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, a private and unseen battle that feels hard and hopeless at times.
Or perhaps someone you love has died, or you’re dealing with infertility, or your child just received a difficult diagnosis.
Each of us has a different cross, but what is certain is that every person on this earth carries a cross of some kind. It has been said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Whatever your cross, I pray Our Lady of Sorrows and her Son walk so closely beside you that you feel your burden lifted. I hope their constant presence brings you glimmers of grace in your darkest moments. I hope their love helps you know, clearly and deeply, that you are never, never alone.