Holy Spirit Interactive
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Inside Holy Spirit Interactive

Reflections

Support in our Journey

by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield

The Journey

It has been a few weeks since I had the opportunity to share with you. During that very short time, life has shown us visual and open symbols of pain and suffering in the Southern United States. I hurt for all of those who have lost so much. My prayers and the prayers of my family go out to those who were displaced in any way. With these pictures of suffering fresh in our mind, let us continue our journey in “coming to grip” with some different aspects of pain and suffering.

A Call from the Ordinary

We rarely, if ever, come to a complete understanding of why we face pain and suffering but it is something we all deal with in varying degrees. Regardless of the depth or degrees of pain, the most essential point for all to remember in any conversation about our Christian lives is—Jesus is the Lord of our lives! Jesus is Lord of the entirety of life. We often find it easy to praise Jesus in the joy and triumph. What about in those times of pain and suffering?

Jesus always hears us when we call out and sometimes we put up blocks to His work coming forth. Many times, we are so disabled with the pain that we are not ourselves. One of the most paralyzing behaviors that we experience in the face of pain is the “freezing” of our thought processes. This freezing comes in the form of not only making wrong decisions but being so overwhelmed by the crisis that the processing of any information becomes difficult.

The Personal Journey

In the face of my pain, one of my character defects is not being honest with those who want to help me, especially those I love. Sometimes, I will just tell people that all is fine when it is not--I am in pain.

When suffering from migraine headaches I often do a very poor job of hiding my pain from those closest to me. My wife sees my face ash colored, my posture stooped and my general disposition to remain alone. These behaviors can be very harmful to the balance in our family, too. Everyone in the family is willing to help and they look forward to assisting me in my struggles. I push them away. In these examples, my stubbornness is a hindrance arising from my inability to think rationally.

A Call from Community

From my examples, we see that I am blocking others from helping. In many ways, I am blocking God from anointing others to do His work. So, when I prayed for God’s help, it is very possible that God sent my family members to help but I said “no.” God’s grace often flows through the People of God.

In the 16th century, St. Teresa of Avila summarized my point clearly with her words,

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, No hands but yours, no feet but yours, Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ's compassion to the world; Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now”

In the Sacrament of Baptism, we are all called to help make the kingdom of God present in our time and in our communities. Serving those who are in pain is a cornerstone of our Catholic faith. For example, to comfort the afflicted is one of the spiritual works of mercy and to visit the sick is one of the corporal works of mercy.

Be strong in your suffering! Let go to God’s unconditional love! Relax as best you can and let the People of God be part of your healing process--they are the Body of Christ.

For Your Reflection

From a Ministry Perspective:


  1. Are there any areas in my ministry where I am being a hindrance to allowing God to work through others?

  2. How do I live the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy with those I minister?

From a Family Perspective:

  1. Are there any areas in my Domestic Church’s as parent, sibling, widow or single where I am being a hindrance to allowing God to work through others?

  2. How do I live the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy with those I minister?

I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.

Deacon Tom

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