The Saint of Suffering

The man who wrote the Old Testament book of wisdom was reflecting on life as he said, "the corruptable body burdens the soul & the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns." Visiting with my dad & stepmother who are both ill, I can see the truth of what he says. Their aging bodies burdens their spirits and weighs down their minds which are filled with concerns. 

St. Paul wrote that he was an old man, and now in prison, which I saw in Rome. It was a dark, hot, and humid hole where they kept him & Peter because they were preaching the Gospel. For all of us, as we get older, we will likely face illness as well as more and more struggles both in mind and in body.

The woman we have known as "Mother Teresa" is now called "St. Teresa" as she is canonized by Pope Francis today. Recently her private diaries were made public. Much to the surprise of many who read them, they make clear that this woman, considered to be a great saint of the 20th century, struggled with her faith every day. Sometimes she doubted the existence of God. At other times, she felt that God did not love her. That is not what we expect from a saint, yet a saint she was (and is). Yet she continued to do what she believed God wanted her to do: to help the sick and the poorest of the poor. When we struggle, let us remember that God understands. As St. Teresa said so well, God does not call us to be successful but only to be faithful.