Walking down the street in Harlem is always an interesting opportunity. Seeing my Old Testament style beard and robe, a baby-carrying woman flagged me down. I learned that she had almost become a nun when she was a girl in Haiti. After a long series of unforeseen events (good and bad), she found herself a single mom in New York City.
After listening to her story I simply asked about her relationship with Jesus. She shared that she was afraid of God, "If I get close to Him, He will test me and I have more suffering than I want already."
It is so strange how we can get things exactly backwards sometimes. The God revealed in Jesus doesn't want to make us suffer. Rather, Jesus talked about and revealed "the perfect love which casts out all fear" (1 John 4:18). Suffering will come. It is precisely a close relationship with God which provides us the grace and strength to weather the storms of life.
Please pray for all of the wandering sons and daughters of Adam & Eve, still running and hiding from the One who loves us more than we can fathom.
God bless you,
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
Saint Joseph Friary, NYC