Choosing ‘alleluia’ in an ‘ouch-raged’ world

| Father Charles Lachowitzer | May 12, 2016

Perhaps you have stubbed your toe or hit your head on a cupboard door. Recently, I did both in the same day. In the morning I walked around my bed and my big toe hit the wooden frame. In the evening, I opened a cupboard and something fell out. I picked it up and when I stood up — bam.

I noticed that in both experiences of intense pain, my hard-wired reactions were the same. I cried out “ouch!”, checked for injury, and with subsiding physical pain, felt a growing drum beat of the mind’s judgment.

It is a season of polls, so I conducted one of those informal polls to hear if others had ever stubbed their toe on the corner of a bed. The answers were the same. Yes. Yell in pain and get angry. Some blamed themselves. Others blamed the bed.

As a first lesson, anger at a bed frame is far better than wrath against the self. A deeper lesson is that even such a little incident provides a simple insight into the fragile and mortal condition of the human race. Intense pain causes intense anger. When the pain is in the mind and heart, the sin of wrath is far greater. Magnify this in families, neighborhoods and communities; frustrate the anger with generational poverty and persecution through prejudice and the wrath can turn to violence in words and in deeds.

It is the Easter season and it doesn’t seem very “alleluia” to return to Good Friday, but at the heart of the evil in the world is the outcry of pain. Broken brains and broken hearts. God humbled omnipotence on the cross of Jesus Christ so as to enter fully into all our sufferings. Thus in the very person of our Risen Lord, all pain is transformed by the greater power of God’s love over all sin and even death itself.

Suffering, in all of its forms, shares in the passion of Jesus Christ. It is given a claim on the mercy of God and through the consolation of the Holy Spirit, becomes a share in God’s redeeming grace. It is first in our own lives and in our own families that we find in the sacramental life of the Church, especially in the confessional and at Mass, the presence of Jesus Christ who brings healing and a renewed joy in life.

The next time I stub my toe, I will predictably cry out “ouch!” Maybe, by the grace of God, I will also exclaim, “Alleluia!”

As witnesses and heralds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we address the pain within so as to serve unity ­— in our parishes and in our archdiocese — and as one body in Christ, we serve the pain in an ouch-raged world.

Eligiendo ‘aleluya’ en un mundo de ‘dolor’

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Category: Only Jesus

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