God knows

"Job never knew why God allowed him to suffer. He never knew. 
But he came to the point where he believed that God knew, 
and he was prepared to leave the answer with God. 
That is the secret. 
I have never met anyone yet who ‘conquered’ suffering 
properly and hadn’t come to that same point: 
I don’t know why, but I believe God does and I am going to trust Him.” 
- David Pawson, Spoken sermon, Problems of Faith in Modern Society

The cross is ready and waiting

"God wants you to experience tribulations without comfort so you can fully surrender yourself to Him, and grow more humble through suffering. Those who suffer like Christ will feel in their hearts the passion of Christ. The Cross stands ready and waiting for you everywhere. You can't escape from it, wherever you go you take yourself with you and always find yourself. Look upwards or downwards, inwards or outwards and you will find the Cross everywhere. So, if you wish to attain inner peace and win the eternal crown, you must be patient in all things."

- Thomas á Kempis, The Imitation of Christ


Our peace in this present life should not depend on absence of adversity but on humble acceptance. Those who accept suffering will enjoy peace. Such a person is a conqueror of the self, a ruler of the world, a friend of Christ and an inheritor of heaven.

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

My suffering is not my own

When I see my trials not as the collision of my life with a blind machine called fate, but as the sacramental gift of Christ’s love, given to me by God the Father along with my identity and my very name, then I can consecrate them and myself with them to God. For then I realise that my suffering is not my own. It is the Passion of Christ, stretching out its tendrils into my life in order to bear rich clusters of grapes, making my soul dizzy with the wine of Christ’s love, and pouring that wine as strong fire upon the whole world.”

No Man Is An Island, Thomas Merton

The immensity of despair

In the excruciating monochrome of daily chores, 
 the savage and the predatory feed. 
Ignorance and deception move hand in hand, 
 enfolding their barren forms into human thought and action. 
 Across the land, familiar pairings of victim and oppressor 
 engage in their carnal battles of distraction.
The avoidance of generations unravels at the seams. 

 Fast, fleshy temptations slice through the hollow loop
 of the modern and the mundane - 
this mortal vessel is vulnerable to the call of oblivion.
Parasitic, painful and strange: 
here is the splendour and obscenity of our descent into the material. 

 We dwell in boundless landscapes of futility, 
 stifled by the immensity of despair. 
 In subservience, such fathomless sadness. 
 In vanity, such beautiful diversion. 
 The weight of the unfelt rests heavy on sensing shoulders - 
 it is hard to be in this realm. 
 Set apart in the intimacy of suffering, 
 we remain at liberty to learn. 

4th July, England.