back to the National Black Catholic Congress : Home Page THE NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS
The Black Catholic Monthly | African Americans | Catholic News Black Catholic Congress: "We hold ourselves accountable to our baptismal 
    commitment to witness and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ"
NBCC
Calendar Of Events Calendar Congress X Media Center  Subscribe to "The Black Catholic Monthly" Newsletter News      Contact Us Contact Us
NBCC
NBCC
To Black Catholic Monthly Home Page

Featured Article: Reflections on Race in America Today - I grew up in the Deep South, at a time of even deeper segregation, a convenient term used to describe the complete separation of the races. It defined every aspect of our lives, where we lived, worked or went to school, and, especially, where we worshiped. (Martin Luther King, quipped, that Sunday morning church services were the most segregated hours.) For families venturing out for entertainment or recreation it meant figuring out what was opened to us, and staying away from those that were restricted. We were cautioned at an early age to not cross those boundaries. Read Full Story

NBCC STRUCTURE
 African American Catholic Bishops
 Congress Directory
 Board of Trustees
 NBCC Staff
Parish Search
 Find a Parish in your State
Black Catholic Newsletter
 Reflections on Race in America Today
 Bishop Says Groundswell Of Interest, Excitement Needed In Father Tolton’s Sainthood Cause
 Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus resource
 The Three Movements in God's Word!
 Dying to Self
 What is Depression?
Special Report
 The Daniel Rudd Fund for African American Catholic Activities
Publications
 Book Of The Month:
The Way of the Cross
 Author Of The Month:
Thomas Keating
NBCC Spotlight
 Faith STILL Engaged
Employment Opportunities
 Program Manager II
 Assistant Director of Campus Ministry
Upcoming Events
 Sankofa: Lenten Day Of Reflection
March 8, 2014
 Lenten Revival “Marching to Victory”
March 10-12, 2014
 “Walking with the Saints” - A Symposium of Black Catholics, Their Concerns and Journey to Sainthood
March 14-16, 2014
 7th Annual Youth & Young Adult Revival
March 16, 2014
 “Get Your Head In the Game” Young Adult Retreat
March 21-23, 2014
 Lenten Parrish Mission - Annual Lenten Church Revival
March 24-26, 2014
 “A Call to Duty” Youth Retreat
March 29, 2014
 Habari Gani #6
April 4-6, 2014
 Sight & Sounds Present “The Story of Moses”
April 9, 2014
 Unity Explosion - Region X 2014 - Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
November 23, 2013
 
In The News
 Pope to engaged couples: After ‘I do,’ comes ‘may I, thank you, sorry’
 Planned Parenthood agrees to pay $2 million in fatal abortion procedure
 Atheist And Muslim Presidential Candidates Face The Most Bias
 Israelis look forward to Pope’s Holy Land visit, rabbi says
 Canon Law Society of America
NBCC Media
  Visit the NBCC Media Center
  Listen Live to Vatican Radio
requires Real Audio)
RECOMMENDED SITES
 Site Links

 NBCC : Black Health & Wellness

MARY: A Word For The Weary

"In the world," our Savior tells us, "we will have trouble." Sadness, exhaustion, loneliness, interpersonal conflicts, and failure are just some of the common troubles we Christians experience at various points in our lives. Too often, these challenges rob us of God's priceless gift of joy. "The joy of the Lord," we know from Nehemiah and Ezra, "is our strength." So we rightly seek to make sense of the the sort of trials and difficulties mentioned above so that we can hold fast to our joy and better fulfill our purpose in the world.

Article Index

Health Article Index

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition

When I Call For Help: A Pastoral Response To Domestic Violence Against Women

Getting Healthy and Staying There!

Battling the Demons of Domestic Violence

Most Americans Should Consume Less Sodium

Check out these resources for health and wellness...

Tips on Keeping Food Safe When the Power Goes Out

Alzheimer's Disease and Other Forms of Dementia

Glaucoma Awareness Month January 2013

A Word For The Weary

5 Tips for a Healthy Transition into Autumn

Vitamins: The Who, What, Where, Why, and How's

14 Tips to Keeping Your Mind Sharp as We Age

Be Sweet to Your Feet if You Have Diabetes

Nine In 10 U.S. Adults Get Too Much Sodium Every Day

Autism & Learning Disorders

The Therapeutic Benefits of Pets

Coping with Grief and Loss

Health Article Index

There are many 'answers' to the problems of life and many of these answers we have discovered on the natural level are very good at overcoming the challenges we face in our lives. For instance, the mood of sadness can give way to happiness with more time spent in the sunshine, a better diet or the right song. The feelings of loneliness can leave when a loved one loves back or smiles back. In so far as they go, natural answers can be very good. The problem we encounter, however, is that natural solutions do not go as far as we would have them. In other words the solutions offered by this world come and go.

Thankfully, for those of us who have put on the mind of Christ, we are able to understand the realities of this present world in light of the realities of the world to come. When we experience some evil or negative situation in our lives, we rightly ask 'Why?' This is not the angry 'Why?' of a wounded sense of entitlement. Rather, our questioning stems from our natural desire to know the cause of anything that exists. Asking 'Why?' does not arise so much from our personal experience of pain or disappointment, rather it comes more from our knowledge that God is all-good, all-knowing and all-powerful.

Subscribe to the Black Catholic Newsletter

We know that "God orders all things sweetly" and this includes the way he directs us during the difficult times of life. Even when we know this is the case, we do not always grasp that truth on an affective level. Whenever we find our emotions out of sync with precepts and promises of God, it is very important that we decide to trust what He has revealed in spite of how we feel. We find great help doing this in the teachings and examples of many of the saints. The Apostle Paul, for instance, gives a very important reason for our sufferings when he teaches that "power is made perfect in infirmity." He says, "I will glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. . . . for when I am weak, then am I powerful." This reality of power (not only being present in the midst of weakness, but also being perfected in the midst of weakness) can be hard to understand at first. It is a bit counter-intuitive to give thanks to God for a "thorn in the flesh," but it is precisely this wexample of gratitude in the midst of affliction that we have received from St. Paul.

The way this all works out can be illustrated in the natural order in a very common sort of athletic competition: arm wrestling. Let's say we are spectators to a long series of arm wrestling matches between two unevenly matched contenders. Watching the underdog struggle and lose over and over could come across as a sorry sight. The key to seeing how great such a spectacle is in fact, is to understand it, not in terms of winning, but in terms of getting stronger. More important than the comparison between the strength of two wrestlers is the strength each can claim as his own. The weaker of the two may never 'win' a match. He can, however, get much stronger by competing well. Every time he strives to defeat his opponent by employing good form, following the rules and exerting the little strength that he does have, he gets stronger. His strength, to borrow St. Paul's words, is made perfect in weakness.

In a similar way, when we persevere through trials and tribulations, we grow stronger spiritually. God is not concerned primarily with whether or not we are 'winning.' Rather, He is concerned that we are struggling and, thereby, becoming stronger in charity. In fact, this process of getting stronger is the sure sign that we are winning where it matters. It is our strong love for God that will ensure our ultimate victory at the end of our earthly lives. So, understanding the great and lasting value of our passing trials and tribulations, we respond as such an understanding demands: with gratitude to God for the gift of our struggles.

In the Gospel of Luke, our Savior admonishes us to "struggle to enter through the narrow gate, for many... will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough." More often than not, the ordeals we go through are not all that pretty to watch. sometimes we get so beat-up that even those on the sidelines are embarrassed. Be that as it may, our Heavenly Father is looking long-term, and we do well to take our cue from Him. God is looking way beyond the temporary humiliations of His saints as He sees the everlasting exaltation that awaits us. He is looking towards our happiness beyond that narrow gate. Whenever troubles overwhelm us and we feel our weakness, even when we feel only our weakness, that is the moment to keep striving. That is the moment to get stronger in God. If we persevere in this struggle here below, then God will not fail to crown our labors in Heaven where the strong ones, His saints, will rejoice forever after having passed through the narrow gate.

Disponit Omnia Suaviter

to top of page

NBCC
NBCC

Web Design : Web Marketing : Web Management : Baltimore Maryland - SLEEPER Technologies
 
An STI Site | Web Design by SLEEPER Technologies
Copyright 2003 www.nbccongress.org | All Rights Reserved | Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without the expressed written permission of www.nbccongress.org is prohibited.