January 8, 2018 A.D.
Suffering can crush a person, or make a person grow in spirit. What does it mean to grow in spirit, and why it this important?
On January 1, 2018, smoke rises off the remains of a smoldering fire in the Field of Apparitions. In the recent very cold days here in Alabama, the Caritas Community has gathered around a fire at the daily Rosary to help keep warm.
It is easy following very positive events in the world like the Year of Mercy of 2016, to think that there is only mercy for the world. But, the other side of mercy is justice, which a fallen world is in need of for purification. Many do not want to speak of, or hear about these things because it is too uncomfortable to recognize this truth. A Friend of Medjugorje writes of man and his nature when looking at spiritual things:
“…Man’s nature wants only the sweet cream. The apparitions are cream. What they ask of us costs, and Our Lady’s words indicate that many don’t wish to sweat, to pay the price. The apparitions and their sweetness brings the bitterness. But again, man does not want the bitter.
July 25, 1987
“We can’t pick and choose. We must take both that which is easy and that which is difficult, in all that we are given — a great gift of Our Lady coming…”1
Though it has been very cold, and even today raining, at our daily Rosary at Caritas, our Rosary is still really “sweetness.” Having a small inconvenience of wet and cold, is no sacrifice when Our Lady returns so much sweet to so little uncomfort. People who pray, see this “great gift of Our Lady coming” and take steps accordingly, not counting cost. When, in the future, the whole world will be “smoldering” following purification, one will be happy that one acted today in making sacrifices and grew in spirit. The world sees these changes Our Lady is asking of each as bitter, until the world, through purification comes to understand what true sweetness consists of – in renouncing its idols and following Our Lady on the path to God. For those who do not act today, it will be bitter. For those who change their lives today, the little bitterness of today will be so sweet to wake up one day to a Holier world.
Caritas of Birmingham
Operated by the Community of Caritas