Author: Lisa Graas
•4/14/2003 08:59:00 AM
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My son Jesse had his sixth birthday at the end of March. He got just what he had asked for -- a toy weedeater. He also had the usual fare of cake and balloons and party favors for him and for his three siblings. It was the fulfillment of what he had been hoping for the previous several weeks as he anticipated his birthday. For at least a week after his birthday, every day he would ask me, "Mom, when am I going to have another birthday?" After a week of hearing from me that it would be a long time before he has another birthday, he grew angry with me when I would respond that way. His impatience led him to anger, but eventually he accepted it and came to terms with it.

So it is with us in our relationship with God. Each of us experiences periods of consolation and of desolation. During the time of consolation, we feel close to God and we have many examples of His blessings in our lives. During times of desolation, God may allow bad things to happen to us, like persecutions and abandonment from family. These things are inevitable and part of the process of purging us of our attachments to things of this world. It may be so bad that we become angry about it. What we must be mindful of, however, is our responsibility to preventing these things from leading us into despair.

Despair as defined by the Church is not an emotional feeling of hopelessness. No, it is a willful rejection of hope in the promises of Christ. It is quite possible to have emotional despair without willfully rejecting the hope found in Christ. This emotional despair can, however, be a source of temptation for us, so we must be mindful of it and take appropriate measures, like immersing ourselves in prayer during these times, or Scripture reading, or the giving of alms, etc.

Remember that in our darkest moments, God is our light and our salvation. As long as we keep Christ at the center of our lives, we shall not remain in darkness or trial.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
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