“There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” – Servant of God, Lucia de Santos, Fatima Visionary
Betrayed. Deserted. Discarded. Dropped. Dumped. Empty. Forgotten. Forsaken. Left. Neglected. Rejected. Shunned. Sidelined. Alone. Cast aside. Outcast. These are just a few of the synonyms listed next to the word “abandoned” in a Thesaurus. Can you relate to any of them?
The Church and Sacred Scripture have given us countless examples of those who have experienced emotional and physical abandonment. Job lost everything, including his eyesight. St. Teresa of Calcutta endured over 40 years of feeling separated from God’s presence. Thérèse of Lisieux experienced darkness so profound that she felt she could relate to the atheists. St. John of the Cross’s dark night of the soul inspired a revolution in Catholic thought and spirituality. Blessed Margaret of Costello was left by her parents on the footsteps of her parish church because of her disabilities. Our Lord was betrayed by one of his closest followers and denied three times by St. Peter.
Perhaps you are feeling abandoned by God right now. When life is overwhelming or difficult, it’s easy to feel that God has forgotten us. But in fact, it is during these times when the Lord is drawing us very near. He is inviting us to place our head upon His chest and be held close to His Sacred Heart so that every care can melt into the ocean of His grace and mercy.
St. Ignatius, in his rules of discernment of spirits teaches us that during times of abandonment or desolation, we are to stay the course and remain committed to our spiritual resolutions. Rule #5 states: “In times of desolation, never make a change, but be firm and constant in the proposals and determinations in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which one was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation, the good spirit guides and counsels us more, so in desolation the bad spirit, with whose counsels we cannot find the way to a right decision.”
We CANNOT find the way to a right decision when we are in a time a desolation. In other ways, we are not capable of making good spiritual decisions during these times, therefore, it is all the more urgent that we turn toward, not away from God. Most importantly, we must continue to pray because prayer is our lifeline to God.
Sr. Lucia reminds us that there is no problem, no matter how difficult, that cannot be solved by the prayer of the Rosary. And so, we continue our spiritual resolution to pray the rosary together again this week. We look forward to being with you. For those who are feeling abandoned, we pray especially that you may feel the embrace of our prayers and that they will soon lead you to a time of consolation and peace.
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