The Grace To Carry Struggles Well

Posting will be light this week, and non-existent the week following. I’m happy to remark that at this time next week, I’ll be settling in on retreat. Five days of silence and solitude. What a grace and a luxury this is.

My wife tried to stay awake during the canonization Mass this morning, but was unsuccessful. The pope’s homily is up on Zenit. His quote of a wise St André Bessette is remarkable:

Do not try to have your struggles taken away, rather ask for the grace to carry them well.

St Joseph’s Oratory was the first stop on my mother’s annual trip to Canadian shrines. I went on that pilgrimage a number of times. My home parish encompassed the Italian neighborhood, so you can imagine this trip was popular.

Saint Joseph is my baptismal patron. I have often called upon him and reflected on him as I struggle with my role as husband and father. St André’s wisdom on life’s struggles is apt for me these days. Professionally, the revised liturgy will be a struggle both artistically and theologically. As my daughter heads into the depths of adolescence, parenting seems more of a struggle these days. She laughed and clapped when I poured wine into the sauce pan cooking my catfish and got four foot flames and a smoke alarm buzz. On the other hand, I’ll admit that the sign of peace at church doesn’t even get a verbal response, much less a physical one.

The grace to carry struggles well. Yep. That’s what I need. The struggles never go away. But grace: that will be welcome. A good focus as I head into retreat days.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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