I had been struggling with my husband’s illness. He is in horrific pain, several times a day, every day. My darling husband is a strong Catholic man. He is a wonderful husband and father. He is a devout Christian and he has suffered for many years. I went to the sacrament of reconciliation and confessed my frustration with God’s plan in all this. “Why doesn’t God will his healing?” I complained, “Show me how I can be patient, knowing that God is using this to work out my husband’s salvation?”
My wise confessor asked me to meditate on Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross. I have a special affinity for this particular saint. Our lives have seemed parallel at times to me. It has been difficult for me to recognize Jesus sometimes, just as Mary struggled outside the tomb. As a catechist, I run to tell others about the risen Lord!! I took the advice seriously, went to Adoration and focused on the foot of the cross.
Mary Magdalene’s brother (Lazarus) had died and Jesus had raised him days later. The crucifixion must have seemed confusing to her. She, better than most, truly understood the power the Lord possessed! She knew He could come down off the cross anytime He wanted. She too must have wondered how this plan was going to work out, however, Mary had something that I was lacking…trust.
I can’t imagine how much she loved him. I can only try to picture what it was like to stand at the foot of the cross and see your Savior, your friend, being crucified. She must have wanted to scream. I presume that her heart was breaking as she wondered how long this would continue, but still, she trusted.
I love my husband. I hate to see him suffer. I must trust, as Mary Magdalene did, that God has a plan that is too wonderful for me to comprehend. Perhaps, one day in heaven, I will be shown the souls my husband’s suffering had a part in saving? Until heaven, I will cry, hope and trust, just like Saint Mary Magdalene.
*read more about St. Mary Magdalene (Feast day July 22nd) at http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=83