Sunday, December 5, 2010

Prayers for Eternal Rest for our Bishop

This morning we lost our bishop, John Steinbock.  He was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago.  He wrote about suffering as a Christian and it seems particularly timely to reflect on this during Advent.   How much better to have our Lord's companionship than to have some sort of divine magic wand to wave away hardship! (though it's hard to FEEL that way when it's happening -- you just want the pain to stop)

For those without faith in a loving God it is impossible to realize that suffering can be understood as a gift of God, and it would be impossible to experience that inner joy and peace that absolute trust in God’s providential love alone can bring us, no matter in what situation we find ourselves. It is only with faith in Jesus as the Son of God, who has shared our suffering that we are able to find meaning in suffering. I have often reflected on what the famous dramatist and diplomat of France, Paul Claudel, said with such wisdom and faith: “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with His presence.” Often it is only long after the suffering has passed, that we begin to understand more fully God’s loving hand in our lives even at that time
 A couple of weeks ago he asked his diocese to pray that "God's will be done" in regard to his health.  

Requiescat in pace,

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this!