…loved ones who do not wish Christ in their life? Or more to the point, only want His grace and not His cross?
I have a friend, a good, dear friend who lives the average secular life. No real religious views except a smattering of New Age-tinged philosophies here and there. A woman so many of the world would describe as “a good person”.
Her son, beloved to her of course, died suddenly earlier this week.
She is heart-broken. She writes to me that just breathing is too much to bear in the face of this pain, this heartbreak. And I grieve for her…my eyes weep tears and my heart weeps for her, too. I am a mother, too. I know the piece of ourselves that lives forever in the body of our children and I know I would not have the dignity and grace that she now shows should I lose my son.
There are so many things which have brought me comfort during the dark, dark hours of my own times of intense grief. Things that not only comfort, but HEAL, as much as healing occurs on this side of Heaven. Images such as the Pieta, the Divine Mercy, the Agony in the Garden, the foot of the Cross. Meditations on the tragedies in the lives of the saints and their heroic response. Praying, praying, praying the Rosary. Taking the pain and placing it in front of the Real Presence. Daily mass. Daily Eucharist. But she rejects, firmly, all of these things.
What else is there to say? Where else is there to point her toward? What other words to bring comfort? What else has even the tiniest bit of meaning in the face of this type of loss? Who else to understand the crush of her grief but Our Lord and His Mother? The world means nothing, Christ is everything. Without acknowledging Him AND His Cross, there IS no comfort. Know what I mean?
I knew when I converted that I was saying “yes” to having my life changed forever, praise God. I even knew that I would most likely lose friends and even family. But to feel so helpless to comfort this woman, who loves me “despite” my “crazy religion phase” is awful.