Just yesterday, we celebrated the Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite nun. She changed the Carmelite order and brought it to a deeper level of holiness and consecration to God. She had an experience one day that many of us had. She was riding along on a horse and buggy on a rainy day (not unlike this weekend), when the carriage hit a hole in the road. The carriage was jarred, and St. Teresa flew out of it, and landed in a puddle of mud. She was ok, but a little bit dazed. She is said to have made this quotable quote, “Lord, if this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them!”
It does seem sometimes like God treats His friends somewhat poorly. Or at least that is what it seems like to his friends sometimes. We might be tempted to think that the unfaithful have more fun than us (they don’t), or that God tests us too often, and we never get a chance to rest or enjoy life (which is not true). This is what it seems like to us, but it is not true. God loves us completely, and knows us completely. His plan is not simply to put us to the test, but to give us all blessings and good things. He has a plan for happiness for His friends.
Still, that plan for happiness is not the plan for happiness that the world understands. The world believes in happiness that is fleeting and shallow, even happiness at the expense of others. God does not believe in this type of happiness. God is providing for His friends the foundation for eternal happiness. Sometimes this requires us to go through tough times. It does not spare us from discouragement or death. It does not spare us from loneliness or doubt. But such divine happiness helps us to rise from these downer moments in life.
God did not send His Son to take away death, but to conquer it. We are called to a deeper faith and hope that this is true! It is not how many times you get knocked down in life, it is how many times you get up. God’s grace through Jesus enables us to get up again when we fall down. Why must God’s friends fall in the mud sometimes? Would He be more popular if He was easier on us? Something tells me that God’s way is wiser than we give it credit. Let’s trust in the mystery of God’s love for us. He provides what we need, even if it requires a trip through the mud pit every once in a while.