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The Art Of Living: Make Good Use Of Suffering

Padre Pio
Endured his suffering
for the love of Christ.
Picture via Wikipedia

Back in 1990, while I was in the coffee shop at Christ Hospital, munching on a cheese sandwich, I noticed an elderly woman, bent almost double from arthritis, moving slowly in, with the help of a walker.  What held my attention was not her crippled condition, but her warm, glowing smile, not just a plastic “put on”, but one truly coming from her heart.  I said to myself, “Dear friend, you may have twisted body and hands, but you have not lost your power for joyful living.”Unfortunately, the pains of living sour some people on life.  With a disastrous misjudgment, they blame God for their miseries and turn their backs on the One Who could help the most.  Tragically, they even give up on their families and friends to wallow in quagmires of self-pity.

Others, like the woman mentioned above, seeing the inescapable truth of having agonizing moments in life, make excellent use of these painful interludes to grow in a dependency on God in courage, patience and love.

I look at any kind of pain of mind or body as a period of glorious opportunity.  A blacksmith pokes stiff, hard metals into a fierce fire to make them flexible and pliable.  When the metals turn red from the heat, the “smithie” can form them in any desirable shape.  In the crucible of suffering, our whole personality reaches a stage of flexibility and changeableness.  At this crucial time, as it were, I can be born again and reshape my destiny in a highly successful way.  My eyes can fathom my weaknesses and shortcomings more clearly.  With new resolve, I am able to plant qualities of greatness in my life experience.

“Hours of discomfort, times of anguish,
I welcome you into my life’s journey.
You need not be barriers to a full life,
But, rather, bridges to peace, joy and greatness.”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 11, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins


  1. You instruct us so well Fr. George! Thank you for reminding us to be ever hopeful and prayerful in the midst of pain…we are closest to Him in those moments…and He hears our prayers! Thank you for all you do for Him for us, the sheep! Love & Hugs, Marianne

    Comment by M. C. Simatovich | August 12, 2012 | Reply

  2. Hi Fr. George, What a beautiful piece of writing, as are all of your pieces. It is such a beautiful reminder that in the trials of this life, we do have the Lord to turn to – God does not promise us a smooth path but He does promise to always be with us. And in this advancing world, (we are now on Mars, unbelievable!!), God is patiently waiting for each of us to define who we are in this world and to realize that this short journey is such a small thing compared to our wonderful eternity with Him in heaven. Prayer makes life so much easier. I am praying for you often, my friend! I love you!


    Comment by Nancy Westvang | August 12, 2012 | Reply

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