by Catherine Doherty.
Sometimes, due to sickness or accident or old age, we find ourselves unable to participate in the normal activities of every day.
Then we are greatly tempted to say things like: "Oh, I’m not doing anything! I’m a burden on my family, on my community—a burden, period."
When we think like that, you can be sure Satan is nearby, rubbing his hands together and saying, "Here I come!" We have left ourselves wide open to him, since we do not understand the usefulness of uselessness.
Look at a crucifix. On it is a man, a person like you and me—flesh, muscles, blood—crucified. The nails penetrated his hands and his feet. He was stretched out. People look at this and wonder: how useful was he hanging there for three hours?
Why didn’t he walk around and do more miracles? That would have been a lot more useful.
This kind of thinking doesn’t go with faith. We fail to grasp that by his three hours of suffering the Son of God redeemed the whole world.
Faith convinces us that when we are useless, we are most useful to God. There is such a depth to our usefulness that it shakes me to think about it.
When I was nursing, I always told people about this. I said, "Look, here you are, unable to get around or do anything. You’re a Christian. Offer it up. Let this pain be for the world."
God picks up those sufferings and uses them. Then you become a most powerful person.
Be on the watch for doubts about the usefulness of uselessness.
They’re natural and human, but they’re not of faith.
— Adapted from Grace in Every Season, (2001), Feb. 29, p. 69, available from MH Publications
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