Bitter or Better?
By Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
"I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need" (St. Paul, Philippians 4:12).
"...Are they ministers of Christ? ...I am still more, with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, far worse beatings, and numerous brushes with death. Five times... I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, ...on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." (St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 11:22-29)
St. Paul was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary Christian. An Apostle, raised up "out of the ordinary course", he accomplished great things for the Lord as he eagerly responded to His calling to build the Church and, through her, to change the world. A man so profoundly close to the Lord he followed that he had literal mystical experiences arising out of his genuine interior life, his intimate communion with God.
Yet, this Apostle suffered greatly. He was misunderstood, betrayed by brethren, and he experienced intense emotional, economic and physical hardships. He had many reasons to become bitter. He did not. He became better. That is our challenge as we embark, every day, on this journey of faith called the Christian life.
Because of his close communion with Jesus, the One who had called him in the desert, Paul had the interior strength that only comes from living a fully surrendered life. The Lord who called him had changed him in the encounter. This is reflected, as is often the case in the biblical accounts of vocational callings, with the change of his name from Saul to Paul. But this change, the ongoing conversion, continued as Paul learned to empty himself so that he could be filled with God.
In our own lives, we will suffer, we will be misunderstood, betrayed by friends, "shipwrecked", at least figuratively, and we will suffer the instability that often accompanies the struggles of daily life. Paul shows us the way to choose the better way, the way of discipleship.
When we make that choice we will find the path to contentment and the way of peace. Bitter or better? The choice is ours. Let us choose the way of following Jesus Christ in the footsteps of St. Paul and learn to boast of our weakness and hide in God's strength.Let us become better not bitter, through co-operating with God's grace.
http://www.catholic.org VA, US
Deacon Keith Fournier - Deacon, 804 562-9942
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Terrorist responsible for '93 attack on World Trade Center bombing ...
- Daily Readings for Monday, February 20, 2017
- St. Wulfric: Saint of the Day for Monday, February 20, 2017
- 'I Am A Muslim Too': Angry protesters gather to declare allegiance to ...
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 HD Video
- Massive storm threatens to flood more than just the Oroville Dam HD Video
- Priest sails the Mediterranean Sea and rescues thousands
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, February 20th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, February 19th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, February 18th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.