Thursday, June 28, 2007

Reflections on Sirach

My son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity.
Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great.
accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.
You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble.

2 Woe to craven hearts and drooping hands, to the sinner who treads a double path!
Woe to the faint of heart who trust not, who therefore will have no shelter!
Woe to you who have lost hope! what will you do at the visitation of the LORD?
Those who fear the LORD disobey not his words; those who love him keep his ways.
Those who fear the LORD seek to please him, those who love him are filled with his law.
Those who fear the LORD prepare their hearts and humble themselves before him.
Let us fall into the hands of the LORD and not into the hands of men, For equal to his majesty is the mercy that he shows.

This was the passage that my women's group reflected on tonight. Normally, I do give quite a bit of my own reflections. Tonight, however, this passage really struck close to my heart.

As of the past 5 months or so, I feel like I have been in the midst of trials. Definitely discouraged...not despair...but close. I know that I need more prayer on my life and I am working towards that.

But a bit of my own musings, if you will.

1) Accept whatever befalls you--okay, acceptance. Been working on that one and I feel like I am accepting whatever befalls me. When I share this with a select few, though, they say that I am too negative. I don't like to put God "in a box," by expecting Him to meet my desires. Yes, they are good desires (ie: children). But I'm looking at track records here. There are many infertile couples. Yes, children are a good, but that doesn't mean that God is obligated to give them. That's why they are called a gift.

2) For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation--wow...this one is the bam, baby of the verses of this text for me. Within this, I reflect on two things. a. Worthy men: I see this as being worthy of the gift/honor/passing the test. b. The Crucible of humiliation[crucible--A severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial.]: I have spoken to others suffering with infertility as having to grieve each month without conception. But when I see those words, I also see in myself the humiliation of infertility. Those are strong words, I know. Being a practicing Catholic, one who loves the Church and lives (tries to live) the Truth and to the full, loves children and family life, desires to have a large family, etc. this is in a sense a "humiliation." When others look at you and see no children--to be questioned on your beliefs, speculations to your sexual ethics, seen as hypocritical. That is humiliation...knowing the truth of the situation and yet feeling powerless. Wanting to be a witness to true Catholic family life and instead having to sit back.

This is the crucible of least for me tonight.

I am strengthened by the remaining verses focusing on hope. I am strengthened.

1 comment:

JRH said...

I LOVE Sirach!