I had the pleasure of attending another Opus Dei Evening of Reflection downtown last night, and one of the priests said something that really struck me: “When somebody irritates you or hurts you, don’t think, ‘I’m so irritated and hurt by this person!‘ Instead, think ‘This person sanctifies me.'” In their refreshing way, the Opus Dei priests brought this idea down to the practical level of the everyday person’s everyday experiences. Maybe it’s a coworker who irritates you. Maybe it’s your crazy in-laws. Maybe it’s your husband.
Or my two-year-old who makes me want to pull my hair out on a daily basis.
In any case, God has allowed certain people and personalities into my sphere of life for a reason. To learn patience, maybe. Or humility. Or self-control. Or gentleness.
And I love Him for this.
Because He gives my daily frustrations and sufferings purpose and meaning. With just my “yes” to whatever life brings, in His wisdom and mercy He uses everything to help me grow closer to Him in holiness. He promises that everything He allows or doesn’t allow into my life is according to His will. And that His will–His special plan for me–works for my good.
I am working on thanking God continuously for all of the challenging people in my life. I will thank him more often for my two-year-old. Not just when I’m getting slobbered with precious kisses at breakfast, or when I see that huge grin from across the room, or when his adorable little voice says, “I love YOU Mommy!!!!” I’ll also work to say “Thank you” when I’m racing out the door to mass and Faith is crying and Gabe wants some attention too so he takes off his shoes and socks again (I put them on twice already) and throws them and one accidentally hits Faith in the head and she starts protesting loudly and then Gabe escapes out of time-out to get his milk cup whose lid is leaking and gets milk all over the carpet and tracks dried oatmeal and mushy peas from last night’s dinner from the kitchen floor into the living room and I have to clean that up before we can leave but first I have to calm down the baby who has just had a volcanic eruption of a blow-out in the car seat.
Yes, I’m working on thanking God continuously for sweet Gabriel during those moments, too. 🙂