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Monday, November 13, 2017

Dark and Difficult Times

"The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them." (Wis 3:1)

Remembering the dead is a sweet sorrow. Because we have made and been blessed with good friends, we are grateful, but miss them all the more when they die. We can't talk with, see or depend upon them in the same way we have in the past. In a very real sense, we are like children lost in a mall, turning this way and that hoping to spot our parents. More unnerving still, a certain level of depression is natural and necessary in order to grieve fully. Unless we allow ourselves to feel the hurt and loss of death, we will not be able to find the light for the next part of our journey.

There are no easy answers, but there is a simple response. Danish mystic and former Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, writing in his now famous journal, Markings, says it simply and compassionately, "Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible - not to have run away."

Not running away when life becomes difficult, painful and confusing, though difficult, is an essential task for every Christian. To stay in the moment and learn to welcome what comes our way is possible when we remember that Christ is always near and did not run away from his own misery and suffering. The memory of his suffering and death becomes the ground upon which we build our hope.

Today take time to be grateful for all those, now dead, with whom you have walked in life.

Have you learned how not to run away from the dark and difficult times in life?

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