Bear your afflictions with patience, praying for the grace to endure them with holy joy…

Nahum 1:12-13 Thus says the Lord, ‘Though they are at full strength and many, they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more. And now I will break off his yoke from you and snap the bonds that bind you.’

“My children, remember this well when you are afflicted. My anger lasts but a moment, but my favor on those who cling to me lasts for a lifetime. Beloved little ones, you do not understand, but my afflictions—those I send you—are often signs of my favor. Do you doubt this? Study the life of my Son and the lives of the saints. Who was more afflicted than my Son and my Mother? Yet these afflictions were not the whole story and neither are they with you. Bear your afflictions with patience, praying for the grace to endure them with holy joy. In this way you turn afflictions into great graces for yourself and those for whom you offer them. My little ones, the more tightly you cling to me in your afflictions, the more grace you will receive. If you do not know how to pray, then just call out to me—“Father!”—and I will be there before the sound has faded. Children I am with you and I love you. Draw near.”

Beloved Father of my heart, how little we deserve such loving attention from you. Yet, do not look on our weakness, but on the sign of Christ into which we were baptized. If you see Christ when you look at us, then we will be lifted up with him and be made worthy to cling to our beloved Abba. Father! Father! Father!

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33 thoughts on “Bear your afflictions with patience, praying for the grace to endure them with holy joy…

  1. Oh Peli,as evidenced by the rainbow I saw develop at 6.40 PM last night (EST) until 6.47 PM…during the thunder/lightening storm in the midst of darkness…a sign for us all..

    Again and always, from the depths of my soul heart, thank you each and every person…every soul…who is a most crucial part of my journey (and all of those in my heart/our hearts)..and my prayer group..who give me such hope during these dark times…thank you for being such a beautiful part of Our Father’s Rainbow in our lives….

    May His (Our most Blessed Trinity), and our most Holy Family’s Blessings and Peace shower upon and infuse you and yours until we all meet in Heaven 🙂 .. while we are constantly surrounded by our Angels, Saints, and the prayers of our families and friends and souls in purgatory….

    What a Family our Awesome God Blessed us with!

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  2. Pelianito, I love this. I have always been irritated by those who congratulate themselves on their wealth, influence, and position as a sign of God’s favor – and some ministers who promise their flocks that that will be their reward for following Christ. I wonder…have they never read Scripture? While God calls people from all walks of life and circumstances, suffering and sorrow are surer marks of God’s presence than any other condition.

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    1. Yes, Charlie, as the saints so often testify. I often think of this quote from Sirach, especially the first verse. No ambiguity there!

      Sirach 1:1-6
      My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials.
      Be sincere of heart and steadfast,and do not be impetuous in time of adversity.
      Cling to him, do not leave him,that you may prosper in your last days.
      Accept whatever happens to you; in periods of humiliation be patient.
      For in fire gold is tested, and the chosen, in the crucible of humiliation.
      Trust in God, and he will help you; make your ways straight and hope in him.

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  3. When I was young, I read the lives of the saints to choose which one to follow. Their stories all sounded pretty cool, and then it would turn out that each one suffered … So I would start reading about another saint, hoping to find an “easier” one. Eventually, I ran out of saints and decided that I probably got along better with angels than humans anyway, since I tend not to be the most popular person in the room and consider myself at this point as pretty much a solitary artist.

    As it happens, St. Michael is one of my patron saints … So guess what happens if you find yourself attracted to St. Michael? Well, prepare yourself for spiritual battle, soldier. St. Michael will be very happy to have a new recruit to serve as a prayer warrior. “Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” ~~ Ephesians 6:11-12 As you can imagine, this battle is not without trials and suffering.

    On another note, this past weekend I attended an art show reception (alone, of course) where I won an honorable mention for one of my pictures. I had prayed the Rosary on the way. My intentions included asking for help because I was presenting a demo before the reception, and in thanksgiving for having won (I was told in advance by a committee member that I would.) While at the reception, the pianist played “Ave Maria.” This actually was not surprising, since it’s the same pianist every year and she plays the same songs. But then I had dinner at a nearby Thai restaurant … and in the restaurant they were playing piano music to accompany dinner … and all of a sudden, “Ave Maria” began to play … for the second time that day, about an hour or two after I heard it the first time.

    The strange thing to me is, with all the death and destruction going on in the world, and things seeming to be falling apart, it seems that God is telling me through Mary that I’m supposed to continue on being an artist. I suppose to continue being a sign of hope.

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  4. Peli and all

    My life lately has been great evidence of this very message! I know more marriages and family tragedies now then at any time in recent history and have struggled in my trust to prayer and sacrifice to God’s greater purpose in my life and those near to me. I have found true peace and trust through this little family and much prayer and contemplation. We must be patient and hold fast to endure these afflictions. I have seen too many take the easy and worldly path to deeper separation from God’s church. “The harvest is great but the workers few”. Let us all pray for a fervant desire to be called on the right path to holiness and virtue and draw those lost souls into the light of Christ!

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    1. I was watching a clip from Marino Restrepo’s video. One of the things he said that I wrote down is that if only one person in the family has faith, that person will be given the graces meant for all the members for the benefit of all. “Save yourself and you will save all of yours.” Praised be Jesus!

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  5. Dear Charlie,

    The Lord has followers of His Divine Will in many walks of life. Just because some have material wealth does not mean that they are congratulating themselves. Many who are materially wealthy find it to be a great burden and feel as though God must not love them or else they would be poor. The true humility of the Blessed Virgin is needed among the members of Christ’s body more than ever to prevent us from judging the “appearances” of one another. God has ordained the circumstances of each person for His holy purposes.
    Fiat Voluntas Tua!

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    1. Colleen I don’t think Charlie meant that wealth was a sign of God’s dis-favor. I believe he was more speaking to the “theology” of the “prosperity gospel”, where people believe that if they have enough faith they will prosper, and if something bad happens to them, it is because they do not have “faith the size of a mustard seed” or they have not prayed hard enough. This is a perversion of the gospel.

      God does give wealth to some. I was just listening to Marino Restrepo and he addressed this same issue using the parable of the talents. One person may be given wealth along with the gifts needed to manage it. If he gives his wealth to someone without those gifts the wealth will soon disappear. But if he uses his gifts and distributes the wealth in a way that seeks the common good, then he is using what God has given him for the glory of God. I don’t know if you have read or watched the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I think “old Fezziwig” was a good example of this. He provided employment and gave joy to his employees in whatever way he could. He was just, fair, and honest. He had the respect of all who knew him. This is the way to be wealthy that pleases God.

      If God has given us wealth, we must not despise it. Here are some excerpts from The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin. This book is a treasure! I think the quotes listed here, taken from the chapter called “Growing in Freedom” can be helpful to all who strive to be “in the world, but not of it.”

      >>>
      “The goal of the process of detachment is not to stop loving the things and people of this world, but, quite to the contrary, to love them even more truly in God, under the reign of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

      John of the Cross: “We are not discussing the mere lack of things; this lack will not divest the soul if it craves for all these objects. We are dealing with the denudation of the soul’s appetites and gratifications. This is what leaves it free and empty of all things, even though it possesses them.”

      Bernard of Clairvaux: “They do possess earthly things, but with the spirit of men who possess nothing…The miser hungers like a beggar for earthly possessions, the man of faith has a lordly independence of them. The first is a beggar no matter what he owns, the latter by his very independence is a true owner.”

      Francis de Sales: “So also you can possess riches without being poisoned by them if you merely keep them in your home and purse and not in your heart. To be rich in effect and poor in affection is a great happiness for a Christian. By this means he has the advantages of riches for this world and the merit of poverty for the world to come….I willingly grant that you may take care to increase your wealth and resources, provided this is done not only justly but properly and charitably.”

      “Part of the vocation of those who have money is using it well under the guidance of the holy spirit….This must mean regularly giving part of our wealth away for the service of the Lord and the relief of the poor, and by personally serving them.”

      “The ‘contentment’ that the Scriptures talk about is dependent not on how much or how little money we have but on knowing who is caring for us – God himself!”

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  6. Bear your afflictions with patience, praying for the grace to endure them with holy joy. This line, above all, moved me, reminding me of a couple of years ago when my husband underwent grievous illness including 4th stage lung cancer. For the last two years of his life, he endured so many health problems (and this by a nearly 80 year old paraplegic), that I cared for him nearly 24/7, and the care was intensely physical and difficult. He was in and out of the hospital 9 times in 2012, 193 days. He died on the feast of the Immaculate Conception 2012 just twenty minutes after I asked Mother Mary to bring him home.
    ***
    But I had reverted to the Church in 2009, and before this trial came up, I had fallen completely and joyfully in love with the Divine Will. How could so much difficulty, isolation, and physical exertion bring so much joy? When George called me, with great difficulty as his voice faded, I flew to his side knowing only that Jesus Himself was calling. My patience was unending.
    ***
    I just want to encourage everyone here: espouse yourself to the Holy Will with all your soul, and living that espousal will steep you in the greatest peace and joy. I look back on it now with amazement. At the time, friends and family looked at me with amazement, but they didn’t, couldn’t realize the Power of Love that was with me, in me. And still is. Fear and anxiety are gone. I pray daily: “I consecrate myself as a spouse of Your Divine Will, in communion with You in the sacrament of every moment, adoring your Divine Will with every beat of my heart, with every drop of my blood, and with every breath that I take.”
    ***
    If you are sincere, God will take you at your word. If we are in the Will of God, we are in heaven on earth, no matter what the times bring. This is one of my favorite Psalm passages, Psalm 39,8: “And now, Lord, what is there to wait for? In You rests all my hope.” So don’t wait for anything that is coming. Instead, rest in Hope! Rest, live, work, pray in the sacrament of every moment.

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  7. The Phoenix: Know those for what they are: Signal Graces.

    You know, those who pray the Rosary every day receive Signal Graces. That is one of the promises!

    God Bless you.
    +Pax Christi, Dawn

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  8. wonderful comments from all–dave and phoenix and bev and charlie and of course peli. the word from mario restrepro is like water in the desert, peli. reminds me, at the Lamb of God prayers at Mass I always pray for Our Lord to cover “the lintel and doorposts of my soul” with His Precious Blood, even as the Israelites did before their Passover, praying that I and my “household” will be saved. Also when Jericho fell one woman saved her whole household because of her friendship for joshua. so all sentinels of God’s mercy in our respective families, take heart! sorry for lousy typing. I have tendonitis in my wrist. slows me down and makes me think of what Our Lord suffered when His hands were nailed. This is such piddly pain compared to that. how could I ever imagine what he endured… but thanks be to God I can offer this little nothing to Him.

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  9. Peli, the word affliction has always meant something painful to me . I never thought of my job as my affliction. After last night, I am not so sure. I realize that pain and suffering of the sick and injured is part of the times we are in. At least, for me, I know that those are increasing rapidly. (saw the news about ebola…) I also see it in the area of work I am in. I just didn’t think that I would find that caring for the sick and injured would take such a toll on me. I have recently made a better connection with my Heavenly Father and calling out to Abba, Father is something I have been doing for a few weeks now. (before, I would be just angry at the situation and keep asking Him “why?” I probably looked pretty funny talking to myself when I was talking to Him.)
    In the heat of the battle (and it feels like a battle) to literally save lives, so much is given away that I hardly have anything left. I am not a nurse–I am one of the ones that they rely on to get their job done–but so much responsibility is on our shoulders as well that we feel that we are in the thick of it. Giving up is not an option because I am in this place for a reason–even went through a “basic training” at another place just to prepare for this one. I guess I didn’t think it could get so bad. It’s probably going to get worse. 🙂

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  10. Thank you, Peli. You are correct. Sorry, Colleen, if I was not clear on that. I am not one who begrudges others wealth. I do reject a ‘prosperity gospe’l that centers on the things of this world. But among my closest friends, I count quite a few whose net worth is over $10 million. I have been professional advisor – and friend – to many such.

    In a piece I just put up recently, I noted the incredible variety of the saints…virgins, martyrs, parents, children, pure, hot-tempered, kings, hermits, gentle….God calls from all places. But the ‘prosperity gospel’ robs people of hope – and that is what I was musing on. Sorry for not being clearer on it.

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  11. Remember Lazarus, his two sisters, Mary and Martha came from a very wealthy family. Jesus loved them and he used to stay at his place often. They used their wealth to help the poor.

    God sometimes bless others with wealth for some good reasons, He expects them to share maybe 10 % percent of their money to the poor. I believe Rich people may be judged severely because God may ask them if they share their money to help the poor or fight for our Catholic Church by spending money on the materials etc or spread important messages such as First Fridays novena or Five First Saturdays by printing the leaflets, leave free books on Divine Mercy in the churches.

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  12. Thank you Peli and Kathy. I needed your advice and help because I was really thinking about quitting. It is very interesting that so many of the things God had put before me, before I even had a computer, continue to show up almost as a confirmation. Among those was the Divine Will which I learned about from Steve Mahowald. Anyway, I feel much better.

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  13. Signal graces can be lovely surprises from God. I got some lovely surprises from God since I say the rosary every day. Signal graces can be many different things, strange happenings, unexpected nice surprises, sometimes rainbow on the sky, or see a beautiful unusual butterfly , or a small bird to cheer me up. I remember about ten years ago, I think..I was very down and sad about some issues. I washed the dishes in the kitchen and I was surprised to see many rainbow lights on the bare tree, like Christmas lights as if they were singing or shining. It was in November as i recalled … I never saw something like that. I watched it for more than an hour. It had lifted my spirit to God and thanked him for this lovely surprise. a few weeks ago, I got a word from my niece that my brother died unexpectedly, my close friend who is holy, unexpectedly called to see me around that time and it was the signal grace for me. It was a plan of God that she should be there for me around that sad time.

    Our lady of Borg in Nadur, Malta, begged us to pray for her beloved sons and she promised to repay us if we use this practice. I said the rosary for priests every day. Three years ago, my friend met a lovely priest from USA in Medjugroje and they became fast best friends. my friend asked me if i would offer him my roof for a few days and it was a last minute request. I was very honoured to have him in my house and Masses were celebrated every day in my house. I knew it was a hand of Our lady who repaid me for saying the rosary for the priests. It was that signal grace from Our Lady.

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  14. Thank you Pelianito and Barbara for the explanation of signal graces. I have gotten my fair share of them lately and did not realize there was a name for such blessings!

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  15. Jesus ardently begs us to be a great friend of dying Souls. He promised to bring them to meet us at our death bed! They will be your great joy and we can look forward to meet them at our death bed as they are still our children. They will kiss us with thanks!

    let us to fire away with this powerful chaplet of Divine Mercy.

    Jesus, Mary, I love you , save souls!
    Jesus, through Mary, I offer you this chaplet of Divine Mercy for all dying souls,
    Holy Mary, True mother of dying souls
    Save them from the Fires of hell
    Free them from demons
    force satan to leave them
    save them
    santicfy them
    bless them
    lead them to Jesus
    May they praise his Divine Mercy for ever! amen

    Praised be to God for ever

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  16. from spiritdaily today

    Our Lady of Kibeho, by Immaculée Ilibagiza, bestselling author who provides us with a definitive, compelling, impossible-to-put down account of the apparitions to young people at the Church-approved site of Kibeho in Rwanda — where Mary warned of disaster that indeed struck that nation soon after and also warned of future events for the entire world! Not to be missed. Perhaps the best single account of an apparition in modern time — trips to Heaven, intense prophecy, beautiful messages, devotion. click here (Barbara your link did not appear.)

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  17. @Dawn and everyone else speaking about signal graces: Thank you for your kind, heartening, uplifting, and helpful explanations!

    @pelianito: Wonderfully hopeful message you’re sharing about Marino Restrepo’s video and about how one family member can spiritually help the others!

    @ann: When you mention the “sentinels of God’s mercy in our respective families” … it reminds me that one time after praying to St. Michael, I was inspired to invite the guardian angels of my family to Mass with me every Sunday, so that the angels could pray for all of us in the family … for our peace, healing, forgiveness, consolation, strength, conversion, and salvation, in accordance with God’s Holy Will.

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  18. Our Lady of Kibeho, by Immaculée Ilibagiza, bestselling author who provides us with a definitive, compelling, impossible-to-put down account of the apparitions to young people at the Church-approved site of Kibeho in Rwanda — where Mary warned of disaster that indeed struck that nation soon after and also warned of future events for the entire world! Not to be missed. Perhaps the best single account of an apparition in modern time — trips to Heaven, intense prophecy, beautiful messages, devotion. click here
    __________________________________________________

    THE HOUR OF DECISION: AS CHAOS SWIRLS AROUND PARTS OF THE WORLD, PURITY OF SOULS WILL DICTATE FUTURE EVENTS

    from Spiritdaily.

    http://www.spiritdaily.com

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  19. My Lord give me more of you and take more of me. Beacuse with you i am sure to endure to the end. It is my period of trials and temptations i pray you to be always by my side and do not abandon me. I am feeling a sign of great tribuliations coming my way. All my Rosary beads are cutting off and i don’t the signs they are telling me but i know that you know it all. please ABBA FATHER hold me up in your hands and let my feets stand on the solid Rock of ages. Give me victory as ever before this i ask in the name of your Son JESUS CHRIST. Amen

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