Rough Times…

July 26, 2019

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at fachtingcounseling1@gmail.com or by calling (989) 386-8166.

I’ve been reading with some interest about St. Ignatius and discernment about how God works in the lives of people whom He wishes to draw to Himself. St. Ignatius makes a distinction about how He approaches individuals based on whether they have committed themselves to Him or not. Before a person commits themselves to Jesus, he writes that God often allows them rough times. Before committing themselves to Jesus, things don’t seem to go well in their lives. Also, people will experience a sense of hopelessness, anxiety, pricks of conscience, and guilt.

Before accepting Jesus, they often experience a sense of purposelessness, uneasiness, and restlessness. Often things just don’t make sense. Often, they feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

At the same time, the person God is seeking, experiences thoughts along the line of, “Don’t worry, it’s just life. Everyone feels like that. It will get better later. We all are confused. There are no real answers. No one really cares.

Do whatever you want. Have fun. There is no future life or happiness. All that religion and spiritual stuff is made up by each person. You live and then you die and it’s over. Why worry? There is no right or wrong. Sin is not real, it’s just an effort of some people trying to control others. Be happy.”
After having an encounter with Jesus and committing themselves to God, people find relief. It is not that all their problems go away, but they find a new strength in coping with their problems and difficulties. They experience hope, joy, a sense of purpose, a clear conscience, and a kind of peace and satisfaction that they never thought possible. I often hear people say that things started going right in their lives, after finding Jesus and following his ways.

St. Ignatius indicates that God allows us to experience rough times so that we will seek Him and live our lives according to His prescription for eternal happiness. Through rough times He invites us to get to know Him and attain eternal life. Through rough times we come to know, love, and serve God, and be granted eternal life of happiness in His presence. Who could ask for more?

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May He let His face shine upon you, and give you His peace.”

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