A Lenten Meditation by Fr. Charles Gallagher: Faithfulness to God

A Message on Faithfulness to God
By Fr. Charles Gallagher, priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church
Monday, March 22, 2021

Purpose of Pain

This pandemic year has been a year of pain. While the entire world has gone through the same pain at the same time, the pain has been on a spectrum. For some, this pain has been immense. They have lost loved ones or their own health has been compromised. Others have lost jobs or suffered depression from lockdowns. Although we are getting the pandemic under control, we know that pain will come again. God doesn’t will this pain for us, but he does use it for our good. One of God’s purposes of pain is to get our attention. C. S. Lewis says: “We can ignore pleasure, but pain insists on being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” God permits us to go through painful situations so that we turn our hearts back to him.

When you feel pain this Lent, give God your attention by looking at a crucifix or an image of Jesus. When we draw close to Christ, he will draw close to us. The pain will not suddenly evaporate, but when we look at Jesus we find a healing power. 

Gazing at Christ is one of the easiest ways to pray. In the Way of Perfection, St. Theresa of Avila writes to her religious sisters: “I’m not asking you to think about him (Jesus) or draw out a lot of concepts or make long and subtle reflections with your intellect. I’m not asking you to do anything more than look at him.” The next time pain enters your life, run to Jesus and look at him. 
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