“The meek shall inherit the Earth.”
What does this mean? According to modern English definitions, “meek” means: “humble in spirit or manner” but I would challenge you to look deeper at this statement. Studies into how the verbiage of biblical times differs from current language are still in progress today. I would push you to intuitively search out this word. Feel it out. Understand it. It will be the key to everything you will ever need, now and through eternity.
I am blessed in that I have many guides, in flesh and in spirit, who lead me on daily adventures and help me with any request or desire! Among the many, St. Therese of Lisieux has made her presence greatly known in my life and, one might venture to say that “le petite fleur”, led me on this path in the first place with the simple image of a yellow rose.
Lately I have been drawn to deep, spiritual analysis of suffering, and why it occurs. I had come across a pamphlet with certain writings by St. Therese, at a used book store and it was unceremoniously titled “The Joy of Suffering.”
Having difficulty myself in connecting with, or understanding, the Catholic Church’s interpretation of events, I puzzled on that phrase and asked myself, why would Christ find joy in our suffering? It’s taken much inconclusive, self-conversation to determine, only now, what is meant by this.
The God I have grown familiar with would find no joy in my suffering, I thought. The Great Spirit not only envelops us, but we are part of it, and so no defining lines can be drawn to separate where He begins and we end. Why then, would God choose suffering for one that is built in his image and, by my belief, that is part of His very being? St. Therese guides me to this quote:
“Never does our suffering make Him happy, but it is necessary for us, and so He sends it to us, while, as it were, turning away His face…. I assure you that it costs Him dearly to fill us with bitterness. The good God, who so loves us, has pain enough in being obliged to leave us on earth to fulfill our time of trial, without our constantly telling Him of our discomfort; we must appear not to notice it…Far from complaining to Our Lord of the cross which He sends us, I cannot fathom the infinite love which has led Him to treat us this way…What a favor from Jesus, and how He must love us to send us so great a sorrow! Eternity will not be long enough to bless Him for it.” –(Joy In Suffering, pg.8)
This is what my soul has gleaned: If we look at suffering, not as an impediment to our happiness, we find it is a mechanism of our happiness. God does not wish for us to suffer, and in fact, we choose much of our own suffering. I would go so far as to expound on this quote by St. Therese, to say nothing is good or bad, only our perceptions make it so. And when we challenge our perceptions, beliefs and patterns, it is uncomfortable, perhaps even painful and difficult. But nobody ever said the path to God/Enlightenment/Spiritual Growth was easy, only glorious.
If we look at the world with the understanding that EVERYTHING happens for a reason we cannot only apply this overused statement to situations to make us feel better. We must apply it without discretion to every event in our life, from the most mundane to the most life altering. When we recognize that “road blocks” are there, also for a reason, and we learn to build this trust with the divine, amazing things begin to happen. And as we climb these steps towards enlightenment, or saintdom, we learn to wallow in this pain, this suffering, that we might learn and grow closer to God and our understanding of Him.
Consider “love” as an example. Love is not all butterflies and innocence and beauty but sometimes it is dark and scary and sad. Love is full of dualities. Love gives us wings just as it clips them. Apply this understanding to God and your questions will be answered. Challenge your beliefs, however uncomfortable, and in the pain and suffering that results from this process you will grow closer to God.
So how does our “meekness” serve us? Meek is more than humble. The truly meek master inner peace and quiet. They can quiet their ego and carefully tune into the subtle, divine guidance that is available to each of us, day to day. Moment to moment. And when learn to bask in our meekness we recognize that, regardless of where this guidance takes us, even down a path of suffering and pain, we are willing, like Christ, to trust and forgo our own agenda with an understanding that our spiritually guided path is ten times a million more rewarding and satisfying than any other we might choose for ourselves.