Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A Grace Disguised ~ Pain ~ Darkness

And sometimes, when the cry is intense, there emerges a radiance which elsewhere seldom appears: a glow of courage, of love, of insight, of selflessness, of faith. In that radiance we see best what humanity was meant to be.... In the valley of suffering, despair and bitterness are brewed. But there also character is made. The valley of suffering is the vale of soul-making.

Only when we choose to pay attention to our souls will we learn how much more there is to life than the external world around us, however wonderful or horrible that world is. We will discover the world within. Yet such attention to the soul does not have to engender self-absorption. If anything, it eventually turns us toward the world again and makes us more compassionate and just than we might otherwise have been.

Not that the choices we make will always have happy results. That is especially true when we choose to face our losses squarely. When we plunge into darkness, it is darkness we experience. We feel pain, anguish, sorrow, and despair, and we experience the ugliness, meanness, and absurdity of life. We brood as well as hope, rage as well as surrender, doubt as well as believe. We are apathetic as often as we are hopeful, and sorrowful before we are joyful. We both mourn deeply and live well, We experience the ambivalence of living simultaneously in the night and in the light.

*taken from A Grace Disguised, How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Gerald L. Sittser


  1. Good Morning Angela;
    Pain and suffering has such a beautiful result if we can accept it and work throug it. Job 23:10 "But he knows the way I take: when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold"
    My prayer for suffering and testing: Eternal God, Your crucible purifies me. Your flame blazes bright and hot in Your wisdom. You burn away old ways of thinking, past habits, and worthless idols. In your jealousy You incinerate those things that tarnish Your reflection on my heart. I thank you for yor Severe Mercy. You would not do this if I had no value to you. Thank you for burning away the bad to leave me with a pure heart. Amen!
    Angela, that little sermon was free, but your post just stirred my heart today.
    Love you forever
    Wanda Mom

  2. I love this post and the truth in this post.I know it has been in my life.

  3. Angela Sweets...This is a stunning photo!!!! and very meaningful post...I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather!

  4. the photographs on this blog are stunning and the poetry touching...refreshing and hopeful.
    Thank you for a breath of fresh air today. I needed it.

    Austin of Sundrip