I see around me, including in myself, how people respond to terrible things in their lives.
Here are some reactions and then, the Catholic answer to how we must learn to respond to hard times.
One, people shut down. This can mean that they totally stop communicating and withdraw into themselves, or that they go into tight family circles which are inward looking and do not reach out to anyone else.
Two, people panic and turn into emotional whirlwinds, trying this and that, not being focused, causing chaos in themselves and in their families. Sometimes this chaotic response causes odd behavior, like projection.
Three, some fall into a depression and gloom, and make very bad decisions, such as leaving families, quitting jobs, or even turning to drink and drugs.
Four, some become impatient, angry and aggressive. This seems to be the most common response among men, but women can also resort to such.
Five, gross negativity and just plain meanness are other types of reactions. These types of reaction spreads like a cancer and results in murmuring, the great sin of the Israelites in the desert. Complaining creates a miasma of unfaithfulness and turns people to evil by doubting God's Divine Providence.
What should be the real Catholic response?
One, the cooperation with God and grace to go through the stages of purification so that the virtues and gifts of the spirit can be released.
Two, the release of the virtues begins in the Dark Night but becomes full in the Illuminative State. Do not procrastinate.
Three, the virtues, as I have written many times here, are given at baptism and the gifts at confirmation, but are blocked by sin and the tendency to sin. Therefore, those virtues, which one can read about from the tags, must be nurtured through suffering, purification, prayer.
Four, now is the time to develop these virtues, gifts, which lead to the fruits: faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, charity, temperance, wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
St. Paul was shipwrecked, scourged, imprisoned and so on. Do you think he was anxious, crabby, rude, impatient, angry? No.
If you are not working on being virtuous in your daily life, how will you respond in very hard times?
More below on this theme....
19 Jul 2013
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26 Jul 2013
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27 Jul 2013
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26 Jul 2013
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08 Dec 2012
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09 Sep 2013
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