Saturday, June 15, 2019

Facing Aflliction

"Affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint." Rom 5: 3-4

To lose hope in the world, one's family or the church is a terrible burden. The loss of hope is marked by an inner darkness and doubts about the meaning of life. Does it make sense to work for the good of all? Can any institution: country, family, church, ever get out of its own way and create an environment that fosters the common good?

Hard questions like these are natural these days in the United States. Our Congress seems unable to find a path of compromise about vital social issues, leaving the poor and needy, struggling even more for a piece of the American dream. Our families are in disarray. Almost half the children born in the United States are born to unmarried mothers. The church is also floundering. In Northeast United States, most parishes have relatively few young worshippers and can't seem to find the money to hire a youth minister. Even those that have the financial ability to support young people are not sure what they expect from the program or the young.

We are indeed, as Paul suggests, afflicted and need to work together in Christ to endure because it is only in endurance that hope flourishes and new life emerges. Trust in God during times of trial is essential for a healthy families and churches, and the feast of the Holy Trinity reminds us that God is a relationship of persons in unity for the sake of all. God is love and calls us to endure, celebrate, hope and create a dream of a world and church that works together so that all people can eat and all nations live in harmony.

Today, celebrate the relationships God has given you for your growth and faith.

What spiritual practices most help you to endure in the face of affliction?

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