Good morning Heavenly Father! I was lying here this morning – well, not anymore – thinking about Christine and about me and about what Fr. Tom said about her soul – that you could see your reflection in her soul – that was why you took her home. And I was thinking how could that be? What was it about Christine’s life that made her soul such a mirror. The only thing I could come up with was “suffering”. There is no question that Christine suffered. The pain of her broken limbs, the pain involved in the surgeries – her stomach surgeries, her hip and ankle surgeries, her prolapse surgery, her back surgery – all very painful and yet each gave her hope that her life would be bearable. What about other kinds of pain, like emotional pain – the rejection of Keith’s family, the separation from her parents, the failure of her first marriage, the struggles of raising her son by herself, the difficulties with her husband Keith – he is a good man but a very controlling one – the difficulties in her work environments – two that were really difficult – Mitchell Pontiac where she was let go, though she was an exemplary employee, and the abuse she suffered from Billy after he hired a much younger woman to work there, the care and loss of our parents whom she had worked so hard to help. All of these hurt my sister greatly. I am told or have read that suffering makes us more like Jesus. Is that why suffering allows You to see Your reflection in our souls?
I can’t get past Fr. Tom’s homily about the silversmith and the mirror our souls become. I have tried so hard since dad died to make myself into someone whom You would be proud of. I guess if Fr. Tom is right, then I haven’t succeeded. What it it that I have failed to do? In growing in my faith, in learning more about You have I become too prideful? I know that Fr. Tom’s example was meant for a funeral, to help people grieve, to help them understand the why of death. I knew even when I heard his homily that it was simplistic, that it wasn’t the whole story. But sitting there in the funeral home I couldn’t help wonder why Christine and not me, what have I failed to do or failed to experience that has made me undesirable?
I too have suffered, not like Christine and Jeannie with their back surgeries, but emotionally I have struggled. My husband, like Keith, has been difficult and controlling. Many years I wanted so to leave the marriage, but I didn’t. I struggled with dad and mom’s deaths, as You well know. I struggled taking care of mom and dad – Larry wasn’t happy about my traveling so often and he let me know it. I have had some back pain, and I struggle now with weight gain that I cannot seem to conquer no matter how little I eat. I struggled for a time with difficulties at St. Williams – it was hard to leave and harder still to stay. I struggle now with this ear problem, the constant pounding in my ear which from time to time is worse. Sometimes I cannot avoid hearing it. I struggled years ago with terrible allergies that wouldn’t be eliminated, with swollen lips and eyes and pain in my feet and constant drainage from my nose – so much so that I wished to die to end the struggle.
What am I missing? What do I need to do to please You? Or do I need to stop trying to please You and just live whatever life remains to me? How do I find an answer to all this? Even now in this grief I am struggling to understand, to find a way to pray again – this, too, is painful. Why are You so silent? Can You give me no relief, no comfort or assurance that the path I am taking is the one You have chosen for me? I am so confused by all of this. Anyone I speak with only has platitudes to give, for they know no more than I do. No one can answer the “why” questions – Why did Jeannie and Christine have to die so young? Why did dad have to die by that woman’s hands? Why to all the miseries and evil in the world?