"Tribulation is the Test of the Just"
This was part of the first reading at Mass today. In the book Soul of the Apostolate, Jean Baptiste Chautard states, “The genuine apostle makes use of everything, success as well as failure, to increase his hope and expand his soul in confident abandonment.” Indeed one should expect difficulties when one sets out to work in the vineyard for Our Lord. “When God desires a work to be wholly from His hand, he reduces all to impotence and nothingness, and then He acts.” (Bosssuet)
Thus, we should see suffering and struggle as a way to glorify God. When a Children’s Rosary group leader invites children from the parish to come to a new group and no one comes, this can be a great disappointment. One could at first respond that he or she is doing something wrong or maybe that the efforts should be stopped as it is clearly not working. Yet, sometimes such disappointments can be so meritorious that they can help the Apostolate far more then the soul realizes. Since there is no earthly consolation such as seeing a large number of children praying, the soul is acting purely out of love for God and His pleasure. This group leader left with no children attending thus holds the meetings alone and prays. This could go on for some time. We have seen small groups continue with just a family and then after a long time of holding their meetings more children come. The dry period was needed. In the book, Champion of the Eucharist, by Rev Martin Dempsey it is written “In God’s plans, more often then not, trials hold promise of favors.” Likewise the author states, “God follows as well as anticipates favors with trials.” This was written to describe the struggles St. Peter Julian Eymard encountered during his life and in a particular way when he was trying to begin a Religious Order. In this we see that suffering may follow a favor as well as precede it.
Jean Baptiste Chautard elaborates on the necessity of keeping a holy indifference to the outcome of Apostolic work in terms of success or failure. An apostle should always be ready to say so God, “it pleases Thee that I confine myself acting valiantly yet every peacefully, to making efforts to achieve results, but that I leave to Thee alone the task of deciding whether Thou wilt receive glory from my success or from the act of virtue that failure will give me the opportunity to perform.” Indeed if one looks at the candle shown in this post we see that in order to shine a light the candle is spent. To accompany Our Lord and keep Him company will cost us something of ourselves.
But one must not get discouraged during tribulation and suffering for Our Lord tells us, “In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
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Source: Children’s Rosary