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Summary: The experience of suffering can at times involve a loss of confidence in God’s near presence.

Suffering and Trial

The experience of suffering can at times involve a loss of confidence in God’s near presence....The challenge of suffering is a test to all sanctity. It is met well whenever the truth of God’s presence is embraced in a deeper certitude of faith. The certitude is directed precisely at the concealed truth of God’s nearness whenever external evidence seems to contradict this truth.

Regarding the inevitability of suffering, it is a mark of divine love. It is to welcome the prospect of further offerings as a means of union with a beloved who hung on a cross. The thought of suffering does not frighten. It has been understood in love.—page. 141

....We forget that [God] may find us more appealing in our poor trials than at any other hour.—page 147.

...We may not feel God’s presence. But our faith must embrace a certainty that God remains constant in his presence despite every outward turbulence sweeping over us.

A prayer of gratitude to God precisely for what is costly and difficult to understand often has an uncanny spiritual effect....the expression of thanks for what is not yet understood is a mysterious way of allowing God to remain close in a time of difficulty. Perhaps this occurs because such a prayer is impossible without humility.

Source: Contemplative Provocations by the Rev. Donald Haggerty, Ignatius Press, 2013.

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