4:50 am. I lie awake, tired and questioning.

Is this headache enough for me to just go back to sleep?

5 drowsy minutes slip by.

Lord, is it Your will that I get up anyway?

Silence. Though I do get the ever-so-slight feeling that I should just get up and go, I question if it’s His Will. After a struggle, I tell myself I can take a nap later, and I’m up.

In a few minutes I’m before the Tabernacle for my Holy Hour. There are no emotional consolations today, I just push through a low-grade suffering of sorts. Questioning. Trusting.

The reflection in the Magnificat is from Fr. Donald Haggerty: “God shows His infinite love in the crucifixion of Jesus, the hours of that dark day at Calvary, and once again in His concealed sacramental presence in the Eucharist. Drawing closer to God will always demand the search for Him…on our knees before the tabernacle. His gaze is upon us from a tabernacle.”

This morning, we suffer together. He is alone, again, His divinity cloaked and ignored in the silence of the Eucharist. But now I am with Him, and He with me.

Though we are together, I struggle to pray. To listen. I push myself to love like He loves, by being with Him. St. Isidore of Seville said “when we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.” So I read. And God speaks.

“Those who trust in Him will never be forsaken. Don’t turn in on yourself. In the midst of trials, just place your confidence in our Supreme Good, in the knowledge that He takes more care of us than a mother takes of her child…Take courage, then, I repeat, and have courage at all times. Remember, the lot of chosen souls is to suffer. God has decreed that glory will be ours on condition that we endure suffering with a Christian spirit. So, let us lift up our hearts full of confidence in God alone…Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and He will hear your prayer.”  – Saint Padre Pio

Father, since suffering is what you offer, I accept it. And I offer it back to You, as a gift.

I had read just last night about St. John Masias. His prayers were followed by literal miracles, from healings to people raised from the dead. But it wasn’t the miraculous which caught my attention – it was his humble offering of penances. He offered them for his spiritually-blind brothers and sisters who were too lost, lazy or thoughtless to offer them for their own sins. In his charity, he did for them what they desperately needed.

As I drive away from the church, it’s still dark. That still, silent voice encourages me to listen to Lauren Daigle’s song Rescue. There is something about her voice that pierces my soul. It bypasses my intellect and goes straight to my heart. Notice how she dresses in black and in white, for God works both in darkness and in light:

“You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen

I hear you whisper underneath your breath.
I hear your SOS, your SOS.
I will send out an army
to find you in the middle of
the darkest night. It’s true,
I will rescue you.”

I swell with emotion.

Father, that is what you call me to do in this darkness, this suffering: to rescue. To rescue my brothers and sisters who are wrestling the darkness.

“Michael, write this down. Tell my children who will come upon your words. Tell them I am coming for them. Tell them that even in their darkness, I am working within them greater things than they can imagine.

But also tell them, it is not just about them and the darkness they wrestle, it is about who they are wrestling for. I didn’t just endure the cross, I endured it on behalf of those who couldn’t or wouldn’t carry their own. When you wrestle the darkness, you relieve your brother and sister who are overwhelmed with the darkness, because they are not turning to Me. You turn to Me. You please Me. And you wrestle the darkness for them. You wrestle it… away from them.”

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake!” – Col 1:24

Our Lord seemed insistent that I write this today, before I moved on to other things.

Since you came upon this post, He wants you to see your darkness anew. He wants you to now see, you’re a rescuer too. Your lot is suffering, not for suffering sake, but to free your brother, your child, your friend, from the darkness. You are part of the army. Will you not wrestle the darkness for them? That is what Jesus did for you.

“For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold! I, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” -Ezekiel 34:11-12

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