A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Comfort, affliction, and true hope

I once heard a journalist say that his mission was to "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

This journalist was a multimillionaire with one or two mansions and a ranch. Comfortable indeed.

Once one gets past the breathtaking hypocrisy of the statement, one might wonder what the real point was. If you comfort the afflicted, they become the comfortable who must now be afflicted, etc. etc. etc. What is the advantage of this never-ending cycle of upheaval to anyone?

It depends on who is doing the comforting and afflicting.

If it is a pretentious journalist, a grandiose politician, a brilliant philanthropist, or any human being or agency doing the comforting and afflicting, there are few advantages to anyone (except perhaps temporary selfish benefits for those exercising this power at the center of it all).

Even if the person or agency is thoroughly virtuous and as wise as human beings can be, the results are doomed to fall short.

Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable only succeeds when God is at the center of it all.

Only God acts from pure love.

Only God acts with perfect wisdom.

Many among us consider only the short term. Far-sighted humans work for the long-term good.

God acts from Eternity toward Eternity.

Thus, no matter what our condition in life may be, whether we are afflicted or comfortable or somewhere in between, the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary in today’s Gospel (Luke 1:46-56) are words of true hope.

The Almighty.... has shown the strength of His arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.

Whether God lets us be afflicted or God comforts us, we will be the better and the happier for it.

Thus, with the help of God’s grace, like Mary we may say

I am the servant of the Lord.

Be it done to me according to His word.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be merciful to me - a sinner.