REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 27, 2022: Friday

“Remembering that pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world”

(Based on Acts 18:9-18 and Jn 16:20-23 – Friday of the 6th Week in Easter)

An elderly man was sharing his experiences to a group of youngsters.

Among the many things that he spoke, he also touched upon the topic of “pain and suffering”…
… and said:
“My dear young people, I have gone through much pain in life
>> And these painful experiences – though hard initially – became sources of great blessing and grace, when I realised their value, and signs of God’s wonderful Presence”

And he went on to add, “Remember always…
God whispers to us in our pleasures
… speaks in our consciences
… but shouts in our pains.
>> Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world!”

Yes, pain is to be understood as vital for the promotion, perseverance and progress of anyone wanting to lead a life…
… in deeper and closer union with the Lord!

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus declaring the reality of the presence of pain, suffering and sorrows in spiritual life, and yet those factors being pathways and passages to experience deep joy and bliss!

Not negating the actuality of the darker side of life, Jesus also mightily displays the large canvas of life which is enveloped in the light of happiness…
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (Jn 16: 20)

Jesus was making His Apostles aware of the realities of His passion and death.
> He had came into the world to die!
>> Death was the goal and fulfilment of His life.

To the delicate and fragile minds of the Apostles, the Lord gives a very practical analogy: the pains and the bliss of motherhood…
“When a woman is in labour, she is in anguish, because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world” (Jn 16: 21)

This analogy of the Lord sheds light and hope for our sufferings and pains in life too.
Mothers know the pain of giving birth to a child.
>>To others, this pain, though not experienced, can be vaguely understood as being a very painful experience.

>> The pain is too excruciating…
>> The pain causes to think that everything within is being pulled out, with a piercing pain…
>> The pain sometimes makes the person to even cry out ‘I wish this never happened to me’ ….

Jesus says that the hardships, sufferings and trials that we undergo in life are such.

But the moment, the child is delivered and the mother sees the innocent face of her tender babe, the whole scenario of emotions changes…
>> The excruciating pain is replaced by a thrilling excitement and exhilaration!
>> The severe-anguishing sore is replaced by a delightful bliss and ecstasy!
>> The nerve-wracking ache is replaced by a heavenly joy and happiness!

And Jesus says that, such will be our joy too, if we are also faithful and loyal to the Lord, in pains and sufferings!

This is indeed a higher spirituality… a higher level of holiness…
>> To cherish joy, even in the midst of pain
>> To radiate happiness, even in the thick of sorrows.
It is to this elevated floor of sanctity that the Lord invites us.

>> He is with us to hold our hands to climb up to this floor.
>> He is wanting to embrace us in love, as He beckons us to come nearer to Him.

When life stings us with pain…
> When problems beset us into agony…
… With hope, trust, faith and strength,
>> Let us remember: “Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
>> All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well.
>> They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them.
>> They make manifest the “cloud of witnesses” who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in sacramental celebrations.
>> Through their icons, it is man “in the image of God,” finally transfigured “into his likeness,” who is revealed to our faith.
>> So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ:
Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God…
… and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.
>> “The beauty of the images moves me to contemplation, as a meadow delights the eyes and subtly infuses the soul with the glory of God.”
>> Similarly, the contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration…
… so that the mystery celebrated is imprinted in the heart’s memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful. (CCC # 1161-1162)

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