As I was driving home after spending an hour before the Blessed Sacrament, I started to consider some things that I may have left off my list of things that I have learned in my faith journey. So I've decide to add the following:
The Word of God is powerful. It is important to hear the word of God, in a sense the Word of God is always a call. The questions becomes what do we do when we hear the word of God.
Jesus tells us in the parable of the sower:
Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Our Faith must be viewed in terms of Salvation History. Our faith is the greatest love story ever told. It started in a most perfect garden with the original children of God. The name Adam literally means son of God. Throughout the history God showed his love and mercy to those who were given a Covenant. Man though, chose not to follow His ways and finally God made a Covenant with David promising that his kingdom would be everlasting. He sent from the seed of Jesse, His Only Beloved Son, the Word Incarnate to be the most perfect sacrifice and establish a new and everlasting covenant.
Suffering is an essential part of salvation. We are all part of the Mystical Body of Christ. St. Paul understands that the suffering he endures serves as a way to be like Christ, as well as it being for Christ’s sake. Paul says: “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his suffering, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11)
Our suffering can serve to advance the salvation of our fellow brethren. Our suffering is never in vain. We are never alone in our suffering if we join Christ in His.