Divorce – It is something I never wanted, never saw coming, and wish I could have avoided.
I would have done almost anything to not be in this position,
But here I am.
And so are my children.
And so are too many other families.
And with the pain of divorce come choices.
- We can remain hidden, quietly hoping no one finds out our secrets.
- We can live in denial pretending it never happened.
- We can play the blame game and avoid seeing the beam in our own eye.
- Or we can learn to speak a new language.
In 1 Corinthians 14: 1-12, Prophecy Greater Than Tongues, Saint Paul tells us that we must seek the spiritual gift of prophecy, for it is through the gift of prophecy, the speaking of a language that others can understand, that we build up the church.
The spiritual gift of prophecy, he states, is a gift even greater than the gift of speaking in tongues because prophecy is a language that God and others can understand thereby drawing others closer to God whereas speaking in tongues is intended solely for God. Saint Paul also points out here that no language is meaningless.
We all must also remember that no suffering, no sorrow is meaningless either!
Suffering and sorrow give us a unique language.
Before experiencing sorrows such as divorce, I would have felt bad for someone going through those sorrows, but I would not have, I could not have, understood that person’s suffering.
Those injured souls could not have communicated their pain to me because I could not have understood.
At the same time, I could not have communicated to them my understanding. I did not have it.
I could not have helped them heal because I did not know how to be healed.
Perhaps, I did not even realize I needed healing.
What Language Do You Speak?
Each of us speaks our own language – a language divided not by geography but by experience.
I speak the language of divorce, the language of one who has been abused and abandoned and of one who has faced a crisis pregnancy alone.
Others speak the language of disease or extended poverty.
Still others speak the language of infertility while their friends speak the language of abortion.
Too many others speak the language of child loss or intense child pain and suffering.
So many circumstances. So many languages. Each one just a bit foreign to those who have not learned it first hand.
We each speak a language of pain to some degree, and yet we often try to hide this ability from others and sometimes even from ourselves.
What if, instead of hiding this new language gained through our sorrows, we nurtured it and used it to help others and even to build the Catholic church? Our circumstances, our experiences, our situations, our sorrows give us the ability to speak to others, and, even more importantly, to listen to and really hear others.
Without those matching sorrows we could not speak to, listen to, or hear others hurting as we have.
What a gift it would be for us to use our lives, our new language, to reach out to and ease the burden on our brothers and sisters. To be messengers of God’s Goodness, to let His Love fill others, to bring the Gospel, the Rosary, the Eucharist to the world.
In an era during which so many hurting people do not understand the source of their pain, in an era during which so many people are looking for quick and easy answers (although to them those answers honestly don’t feel quick or easy!), in an era during which the enemy whispers so patiently in our ears, abiding his time and striking in the places we are most vulnerable, it is too easy for us to point fingers at the Catholic church or to even leave the church, turning our backs on God – sometimes forever.
It is my hope, that I can speak, through my experiences, a language new to me, one that reaches those questioning or suffering and pulls them toward the goodness, the uniqueness, the power, and the blessed sacredness of the holy Catholic church.
Because I am just beginning to realize how little I can ever truly know
and how much wonder and Grace and awe and Love and Light the Lord offers us through our faith.
And our world is sorely missing that wonder and Grace and awe and Love and Light today.
But that doesn’t mean it needs to be missing forever.
What language do you speak? How have your unique circumstances prepared you to help others? How are you using your gifts, the language you now speak to further the Kingdom of God? How are you reaching out to ease the burden of another? Pray for the gift of prophecy.