October 23, 2007

Stress

It's a stressful week here where I work. We have eight funerals in this five day work week. For me, it means I am taking care of three of them, giving me a kind of 'evening came and morning followed' daily rhythm of wake-funeral-committal for three and a half days in a row. It also means I have to keep several sets of family and multiple homilies rolling around in my head at the same time.

It's times like these when, in contrast to the contemporary teachers of warm and fuzzy religious life, I find a lot of wisdom in someone like John of the Cross:
Trials will never be lacking in religious life, nor does God want them to be. Since he brings souls there to be proved and purified, like gold, with hammer and the fire, it is fitting that they encounter trials and temptations from human beings and from devils, and the fire of anguish and affliction.

The religious must undergo these trials and should endeavor to bear them patiently and in conformity to God's will, and not so sustain them that instead of being approved by God in this affliction he be reproved for not having wanted to carry the cross of Christ in patience.

Since many religious do not understand that they have entered religious life to carry Christ's cross, they do not get along well with others. At the time of reckoning they will find themselves greatly confused and frustrated. Cuatro Avisos a un Religioso, 4.
His insight into the inability to get along is priceless. This is the translation of Kavanaugh and Rodriguez, which is really a treasure. Check out their edition here.

3 comments:

Barb, sfo said...

That is excellent advice for people in families as well.
Thanks!

Paula said...

Thank you for the post Father. Valid for the lay persons also.

Hidden One said...

Very valid, says the Carmelite-leaning convert-in-progress.

Thank you, Fr.