Reflektion fr. Father Neary

Lent 5b
I knew a man who fought cancer to the end. And he took every type of possible healing.  We all had been told it wouldn’t work.  I know another who just opened himself  to it all and wouldn’t even take chemo. Different approaches to suffering. One fought it and the other accepted. I admired both of them.
Many people go into hospital wondering about their illness and that pain  might be close. That’s part of life. I meet a lot in the parish who are going for tests. It’s a fearful time, confusing and sometimes draws us into more faith.  We can transform our pain into suffering, and find some great graces in it. There is the challenge to find new life in it.  Pain becomes suffering.  Jesus doesn’t want the chalice of the garden, but he allows it become fully part of him so that his inner strength is big!   It doesn’t mean a simplistic  approach.  But it means an acceptance of what is our life. Being open to darkness in life. Not trying always to fight the demons of pain of any sort in life. 
Jesus found in his passion that God the father is near.  This can be our way, and we can find that through helping each other.  We can help people at times of suffering – listen, be present. We find this in our hearts, not in books - That we can grow through suffering and we realise on a bad day that peace invades the soul, or that there is a bright light in the darkness. 
Maybe this week whenever we think of God, or say his name, or question him, just imagine a light around you..say nothing, just be open to the light. 
Donal Neary SJ.


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