Mr. Jordan Peterson said something that rings true to me (an I am paraphrasing) that “Faith is not here to make you happy. it is here to help cope with suffering.”
On September 11th, 2001 I was driving home to see my Mother when I heard the news about the World Trade Center. I called home and said that I would not be there that day and then I called the parish and said, “If anyone calls, just tell them that there will be a prayer service tonight at 7PM!” I don’t know what it will be yet, I’ll let you know when I know.”
That night and for several nights after the church was absolutely packed. There were a lot of people that I have rarely or never seen. I think we burned every candle we owned and went hoarse praying.
Contrast that to the Cavs 2016 championship. It was reportedly the 6th largest sports celebration ever. But nobody was overrunning churches to light candles and wear out the knees on their trousers giving thanks and expressing and processing their joy. By and large, we know how to process our happiness. What we are not good at is processing our grief, fear, losses and disappointments. This life is not good at answering the question “why” or patting you on the head and saying, “everything is going to be Okay.” Life is geared toward success.
All too often people will come to Church in the depth of some tragedy after being away from prayer and sacraments for years and in torment they want answers from God. What they are missing out on is a relationship with God. It was this relationship, built up over time, that was also supposed to see you through challenging times. Relationships are not turned on like lightbulbs and God is not a service. It is like a financially broke person who now realizes that he needs to save money in a bank account. It’s a little late now. Perhaps we can begin to fix things for the future but it will be more difficult to get there.
Trust, acceptance, hope, fortitude, bravery, stout heartedness all come from a personal encounter with Jesus, with the wisdom that comes from having been in relationship with Him and understanding how He has worked in your life and how He will in the future. This gives you the wisdom to know what is truly important. It is a peace that can only be obtained when you are in relationship with Him in good times and in bad, in sickness and health, to love Him and honor Him all the days of your life.