Now, the fire seems to have subsided and the dust is settling. When the terror of MS was finally not staring me in the face at close range, I looked around and the full weight of the lost time came into full view. Multiple sclerosis robbed me of 36 years, my best years in the prime of life. What's left? I'm an old man! Was this trial really necessary? Apparently it was necessary. I think God is more concerned about my holiness than my happiness. God was always with me—even in my darkest days during all those decades.
For me to ask God why more than half of my life has involved sickness and disability is to presume it should have been different. But why should I presume my life should have been without adversity or suffering? Throughout the centuries suffering has been part of the human experience. As for the answer to my Why of suffering, it may be found where I least expected to find it.
understanding. They are questions that focus on the deepest meaning of life or eternity. The understanding they bring usually involves tears before joy, then, perhaps both, or at least consolation. This is something those who have not yet suffered are unlikely to comprehend.
“Can a mortal ask questions that God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow round or square? Probably half the questions we ask―half our great theological and metaphysical problems―are like that.” (A Grief Observed)
suffering, we must look to the revelation of divine love, the ultimate source of the meaning of everything that exists. Love is also the richest source of the meaning of suffering, which always remains a mystery: We are conscious of the insufficiency and inadequacy of our explanations. Christ causes us to enter into the mystery and to discover the “why” of suffering as far as we are capable of grasping the sublimity of divine love. In order to discover the profound meaning of suffering . . . we must above all accept the light of revelation . . . Love is also the fullest source of the answer to the question of the meaning of suffering. The answer has been given by God to man in the cross of Jesus Christ.”
Should I desire happiness or holiness? My answer to that question will not answer why I have had a life marred by chronic illness; it will identify the state of my spiritual condition. At a certain point in spiritual journeys, we all may discover the only real happiness is found in holiness. That happiness will become an eternal joy. At its foundation rests the divine love of Jesus Christ. As John Paul II alluded to, I must seek the spiritual maturity to grasp the sublimity of Christ’s divine love.
revealed. It is there that my will is surrendered to his will. It is in surrender where I encounter a child-like sense of wonder and a beautiful enchanted encounter with Jesus. I begin to understand Christ’s point when he said, “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18.17) It is through the Son of God we can become children of God.
What is the purpose of my life? What is the purpose of your life? Each of us takes different paths but surely the purpose is the same: To become more like Christ.