Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recall your past sufferings. Have they made you stronger? - Daily Reflections April 1,2015

More than one and a half years ago, a big part of Eastern Visayas in Central Philippines was ravaged by a super typhoon, the likes of which had never been seen in recent times. We saw heart-rending images of desolation, destruction and death. We were at a loss for words. We did not know what to say to whom, how, when and where — at a time when we did not even know fully the extent of the devastation that only slowly came to our individual and collective consciousness.
       Intense pain and suffering can render us speechless. I remember when I was about eight years old, playing with what was then called a trolley — a two-wheeled scooter that one propelled with one’s foot. It was at a then major thoroughfare in Makati that I was run over by a Volkswagen Beetle filled with passengers — all adult women. As I got out from under the car and saw my bleeding left foot, I was tongue-tied in shock. So were the women in the car. I couldn’t say a word or even cry.
         I was in pain. And I didn’t have the words to match what was welling from within. I was afraid, too. All I remember doing was to look pleadingly at the women and the only man in the car (the driver), who, after a momentary initial shock, simply sped away, leaving me literally in a lurch.
       Isaiah was in pretty much the same situation. The passage comes from what is known as the third “Suffering Servant Song.” If anything, that “song” was more hopeless, more violent, more pain-studded than the other two. But it was also more faith-filled.
       I went home to my mother limping, but made stronger by the same secret that Isaiah knew all along. As Nietzche wrote: “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
       Kudos to the people of Eastern Visayas! In their pain, the “Lord God was their help!” Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: Recall your past sufferings. Have they made you stronger?
Dear Lord, thank You for being with me through my sufferings. Though I experienced pain, there is joy in knowing that, with You, I have survived it all.

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