Father John Catoir

The silence of God when you need him most is one of the most difficult mysteries a person of faith will ever have to face. Yes, prayer works, and we absolutely need to rely on the Lord’s strength when troubles come, but many of us lose confidence in God’s love when he doesn’t do exactly what we want.

Jesus felt this emotion on the cross, when he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” in Matthew 27:46. Divine wisdom is beyond our comprehension. For instance, God takes loved ones home to heaven at the time that is best for them, but not necessarily at the time that is best for us.

If you ever feel let down by God, remember that like Jesus on the cross, we too must endure painful times.

One of the great mystics of the church, Meister Eckhart, told us there would be times when we must suffer God, meaning that we must endure patiently what God imposes.

The single action of trusting God’s love in difficult circumstances is an act of faith far more meritorious than any of the long, verbal professions of faith recited in church. Cardinal John Henry Newman wrote that one deed, done for God against our natural inclination, will win us great merit. That is another way of saying that our patience with God’s silence will be generously rewarded. Remain trusting when you are not getting your way.

It reminds me of the joke about the guy who went into a diner. He said to the waitress, “Just give me a kind word and a bowl of chicken soup!” She went right into the kitchen and soon came out with his order. He smirked, “What about the kind word?” She leaned over and whispered, “Don’t eat the soup!”

There are some messages and words we don’t like to hear. Some of them are “surrender” and “accept.”

Surrender because you are not in charge. The Lord is aware that life with its many sorrows is difficult. We all pine for paradise and yearn for God. He will always be with us. But when a loved one is taken from us, we should at least have the grace to acknowledge that the deceased person may be much happier. Let them be. God will supply all the support and solace you need.

Accept that you cannot control life. Life is consequential and time runs out for all of us. As you move into the future, choose your thoughts wisely. If you allow yourself to brood, your emotions will drown you in misery. Keep the faith. Believe in God’s love, no matter what.

Despite God’s silence, have the courage to surrender to life as it presents itself. Accept the sadness but reject thoughts of anger and desolation; they are merely toxic thoughts that will sabotage your happiness.

Your supreme purpose in life is to honor God, love your neighbor and save your immortal soul. Abandon all doubt and skepticism. The act of trusting the Lord, despite his silence, will give you the power to rejoice more in his glorious creation.