“Amen, I say to you, among those born of woman, none has risen greater than John the Baptist; and yet the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he” – Matthew 11:11

God’s plan is the salvation of all humankind. Our life on earth is a pilgrimage at the end of which we must return to give an account to God. It is the sin we commit that keeps us from living according to His plan. As a good Father, faced with the “chaos and catastrophe of sin” God does not abandon us. In His divine mercy, He sends us His son born of a woman to save us. Jesus comes to us, especially in the darkest moments of our lives (suffering, illness, death, rejection, incomprehension, isolation, slander, etc.). These moments are favorable times to open ourselves more to Him following the example of St. John of the Cross whom we celebrate today. Misunderstood, he was kidnapped and imprisoned in the convent of Toledo, where he was kept in solitary confinement, in the dark, for nine months. It was during this period when he was mistreated and humiliated that he composed some of his most beautiful mystical poems.

Likewise for our founder Theodore James Ryken, when he learned in 1871 from his doctor, Doctor François Van den Abeele, that the wound in his right leg would lead him to death, “he received the last sacraments with lucidity.” Following the example of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, when difficulties overwhelm my life, I like to choose solitude and understand God’s will in what happens to me. This is not an easy thing, only grace helps me achieve it.

May God in His goodness grant us the grace to remain in communion with Him despite all the situations we go through in our lives. Amen.

Brother Joseph Kibambe Ngoie, C.F.X.

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