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Pastoral Associates Corner 06.23.2024

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Why does God allow storms in our life? Why do these storms produce
suffering and struggle? This Sunday the Scriptures speak about storms
from the book of Job and the Gospel. What is God wanting to communicate?
In my life I have experienced so many people who question God on why
there is suffering in their lives. This is a completely human response to
life’s obstacles/sufferings. However, something I think we struggle with in
today’s world is that just because tragedy, loss, and sufferings happen, it
does not mean that God is at fault.

I was born with a growth on my heart that made it beat at a dangerous rate.
I almost lost my life when I was very young due to this which produced
much suffering – seizures and migraine headaches and endless hospital
visits. Then when I was 16 years old I had open heart surgery to hopefully
take care of it. While in surgery there were complications that produced a
massive heart attack and have caused many issues over the years. Is it
God’s fault? Should I blame God for the sufferings that have resulted? I’m
thankful to share that I have experienced God’s goodness and blessings
in so many ways and I truly believe you have also. I believe that the
sufferings I’ve experienced are not “God’s fault” but are a part of living
a life in a sinful and broken world. I want the faith that Jesus is calling
his apostles to have in the Gospel because I know God created me out
of love and for love, and nothing but sin will separate me from that –
not suffering, not trial, not other people’s failings. For all of us life brings
challenges that are not easy and at times very burdensome, however the
call of Jesus, who knows us like no one else, is to “have faith” and believe
that His providential plan is greater and more complete than any personal
suffering or cross that I encounter. While it is never easy, I know that God
is love and cares for me beyond my wildest imaginings.

This week bring to prayer something that you may not understand why
it has happened in your life and share with Christ Jesus your struggle
of why it has or is happening to you. And as difficult as it is, surrender
this burden to Him and believe that any suffering and struggle pales in
comparison to His love and plan for you. Prayers for a blessed week and
a holy Summer! Most Sacred Heart of Jesus burning with love for us…

We trust in you!

William O’Leary, PH.D
Pastoral Associate for Youth Faith Formation