Words on suffering, from the 17th century Jesuit priest, J.P. de Caussade:
Let us look upon our afflictions, whether general or particular, as God's work and not man's injustice. God, St. Augustine said, would permit no evil that his power and his goodness could not avail to turn to the great advantage of his elect. Let us, then, make use of present ills to avoid those that are everlasting and to deserve the rewards promised to Faith and to patience. The time will come and that shortly, when we shall say with David: "We have rejoiced for the days in which thou hast humbled us: for the years in which we have seen evils.
I am on the eve of my 38th birthday, and as is normal for most of us, we tend to reflect back on the year that has past, and think towards the future. It's been a rough one, but I feel that I'm a better man for it. I realize that I am still not completely over Meg. There crept within me a desperate hope that she would send me a birthday card, some meager sign that perhaps there was something still within her that still pined for me. I have to hope that this year will finally see me put that to rest completely, and to be able to embrace a hope that there is someone else out there for me. I had lunch the other day with a woman who I think is absolutely delightful, and I find myself thinking about her quite often, hoping that my interest in her is reciprocated. I'm still a bit raw, though, and have a reflexive fear that I will be rebuffed. I suppose God desires healing of that for me, and indeed, if I am rebuffed, it must be God's will. The quote above is from a book called Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence. I know that the most important area for me to be able to exercise trust in God is in the area of women and my future spouse. There's a part of me that figures I have a lot more to learn in this, so who knows what's in store for me.
And besides, didn't I just write the other day that I felt that God wanted me to be single right now? But hey, if the opportunity arises to go have lunch with a beautiful and delightful woman, who can blame me for passing that up? It's been awhile.