|Photo taken by my son, Andrei.|
A few weeks ago, during confession, I told my priest of a recurrent problem in my life, one that I do not seem to be able to escape. The priest said, “We all have one or several problems that are given to us, and if they are given to us, it is in them that we can find our salvation. If you cannot yet be free of this problem, perhaps it is in your fight with it that you can go closer to God.” The priest did not say that I have to eliminate it for salvation, but rather that I need to accept that I have it, to not see myself above it, and to see in it a blessing for which I need to give thanks: it is my chance to approach God. There is no despair, no matter how long we may fight with our shortcomings and no matter how many times we fall again.
Of course, the priest did not say that I don’t have to do anything about it, but rather that I should trust I would receive help to overcome it when the moment has come. Now, if I still have the problem with me, even if I fight it, perhaps I have not yet learned what I am to learn from it.
My priest’s words still stay with me, and I often think of them. On the one hand, they gave me a certain joy: I am never alone on this path, but various energies are with me, some eating of my body, some nourishing it. And I have to give thanks to and for all of them. Then, there is something more to these words: if a shortcoming is a nail I put in Jesus’ body, but it is also something that is given to me in the economy of salvation, how much love can there be in a gift that makes the giver suffer? What kind of love does God have if He allows me to do things that nail His body on the cross just because these things somehow may bring me to my salvation?