On Wednesday of last week, we faced a “trial” in our house and I failed St. James miserably. When we were gone from the house for an hour, the tank on the toilet overflowed and we came home to two inches of water on the bathroom floor that had also seeped under the door of our bedroom soaking about a 7 square foot area of our wall to wall carpeting. We had to rent a wet-vac and an industrial fan to clean and dry up the mess.
I couldn’t bring myself to “count it all joy.” In fact, I’m sure that some choice words left my mouth. (Pardon my French, as my daughter would say.) And, even while I was posting Points to Ponder, I didn’t see the irony of my feelings of upset and disgust and what I was writing. When I went to work the next day, my friends told me that studying the Epistle of James was a surefire way to bring “trial and temptation” into my life. Sort of like, asking God for patience and He sends opportunities to practice it. Well, I failed the first test; but now I’m on the lookout as we continue. Have any of you any similar stories in the past week or two to share?
James 1: 2-4 “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Rome to Home
“The Gospel of suffering is being written unceasingly, and it speaks unceasingly with the words of this strange paradox: the springs of divine power gust forth precisely in the midst of human weakness. Those who share in the suffering of Christ preserve in their own sufferings a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world’s Redemption, and can share this treasure with others. ” (Salvifici doloris, 27). Pope John Paul II
CCC 2846-2849 “And Lead Us Not Into Temptation” The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials which are necessary for the growth of the inner man, and temptation, which leads to sin and death. The Holy Spirit constantly awakens us to keep watch. (read some more of this on your own. These are my two favorite nuggets.
CCC 45 Man is made to live in communion with God in whom he finds happiness. “When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrow or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete.” (St. Augustine, Conf. 10,28,39 PL 32, 795)
CCC 769 The Church and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials. (read all of this on your own.)
CCC 1742 Freedom and grace “. . . the more docile we are to the promptings of grace, the more we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials. . .”
The best prayer of all when facing trials and temptations is the Rosary. No matter where we are in life, we can find ourselves in the Holy Mysteries of the Rosary as they follow the life of Christ and His Blessed Mother. During trials, walk with Jesus and draw on the strength of your Mother interceding for you. What ever we are going through, remember, the Rosary “beats the rhythm of human life.”
Next time: Let’s talk about it.
@Home Work: The word dokimion is used in 1:3 for the process of “testing.” This same word is used for sterling coins that are “genuine” or “without alloy.” The aim of a trial is to purge us of all impurities so that we become Christlike. Looking at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26: 36-46), and using Him as our example, what can we learn from Jesus about our wills in the midst of a trial?