It's been real hot these past couple of days here in the northeastern USA. It was already 80 degrees when I went over to church this morning. Our parish church is an old brick and stone job, and it heats up pretty good after two or three hot and bright days. And as I sat there I thought about how St. Francis couldn't possibly have been thinking about days like these when he came up with our habit.
But then I started thinking about all of the religious sisters who wore those big habits all the time. Worse than mine, they had to wear those complicated veils and big socks and nun shoes. Wow, they must have been uncomfortable in the heat. And then I started thinking about the poor people in Beirut and Haifa and Nazareth, where it's not only hot but there are also bombs and missles to worry about.
This is when I realize something blessed had happened to me at that moment. Our little sufferings help us practice. Either we use them to practice being self-centered, sensual, bitter and annoyed, or we use them to practice compassion.
This morning I was grateful for the little blessing of having my own reflection led into the latter possibility. The Spirit used my miserable little discomfort to help me re-member, to hold in reverence, the very real sufferings of other people in the world.