When I'm not travelling, I try to catch up on reading the various newspapers and periodicals to which I subscribe. Usually I'm weeks or months behind. Having worked in western South Dakota for nine years, I subscribe to the Rapid City Diocese's newspaper "West River Catholic." It's a way that I can keep up with the news of that special piece of God's creation and my friends there.
In the September issue there was a special Vocations Section that included a reflection by a seminarian, Tom Lawrence, entitled "In His Most Sacred Heart." In it he wrote about his experience of the suffering that resulted from a near head-on collision that left him with a broken femur and tibia, three broken ribs, and a ruptured spleen. Here is part of his moving reflection:
"During my recovery, God showed his unfailing presence to me through the love and wisdom of my mother. God also stripped away those things that used to get me through hard times. All that I had left was God himself. I was given the realization that if I tried to push through or ignore the pain or turn inward on myself, simply remaining in my mind, then I was being distracted from seeing Christ who was with me. He gave me the ability to see beyond my fear--the fear that this pain would never end.
"I have come to know--through prayer and experience--that Christ will never abandon me. He is the one who is most intimately present to me now, and he has been intimately present to me throughout my whole life. Christ has given me the faith to embrace him everywhere, especially in his suffering upon the Cross. It is Christ who carries me through my suffering into his most Sacred Heart. I have received this grace by uniting my suffering to his upon the Cross. By resting in Christ's love he deflates our pride, so that the person God has created us to be may 'fit' in his most Sacred Heart--within his infinite embrace of love. This is the beautiful place where Jesus takes us to find rest from our fears and our anxieties. This is the place where we discover our true selves. This is where Jesus brings us to the fullness of life!"