Dear Cat.Chat friends,
Our blog today is a letter I received from a dear friend and holy priest, Fr. Clair Watrin.
He is getting older and was asked to retire from active priesthood a few years ago. This was a very difficult time for him and for everyone who knew him. He was an extremely active pastor with a heart for evangelization and love for everyone he met. He was also the founder of a powerful movement called the “Live In."
Fr. Clair is still inspiring people to go deeper in their relationship with Christ. What Fr. Clair has to say in this letter helps us put into perspective that we are not immune to suffering. It’s a part of life. It’s not so much what happens to us that matters but how we choose to respond to these unforeseen circumstances. At the end of his letter, Fr. Clair shares a scripture verse that has helped him through difficult times claiming that it has also radically changed his life.
After reading his letter, watch the video at the end. The video is designed to help imprint the scripture verse in our minds and hearts, making it part of our daily lives.
Co-Founder Cat.Chat Productions
“I GOT KNOCKED DOWN WHEN I DID NOT EXPECT IT! " By Fr. Clair Watrin
Everything was going well for me and then 'bang' things fell apart. I got sick; I could not function and do my work and I felt lost and depressed and I was frustrated. I was moved to a retirement house in Toronto, ON, Canada. I felt angry! I did not want to retire!
However, I learned to cry out to God and to pray more, as difficult as this was. I struggled and finally surrendered, through the mercy and grace of the Lord.
I am now often in physical pain and at times in dryness but God, in His mercy and love, gives me greater joy than I have ever had, even in the midst of my trials. It is the most painful time of my life but also the most joyful. I would not trade it for anything else. If I could go back to my former life when all went well for me, I would not choose to do so. I choose what God gives me now!
I realize that life happens. GOD HAS A GOOD PLAN FOR MY LIFE AND FOR YOURS! HIS PLAN IS THE BEST AND WILL LEAD TO THE GREATEST HAPPINESS. JESUS LOVES US MORE THAN WE CAN LOVE OURSELVES!
I follow what Jesus did in His agony. My flesh says, "Take this chalice of suffering from me” but I choose “Father, not my will but your will be done!”
When pain and failure come to us or to those we love, we face the fear of the future. We fear for the future of our families, our friends, our jobs, our communities — and everything else in between. It’s natural. We are simply not in control.
But that realization should drive us to trust God more deeply. We might not be in control of our future, but God is and He loves us as well as all those that we worry about.
The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that God causes “everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.”!
God PROMISES us that He will bring us through everything and He will take the dumb, evil, and bad decisions I’ve made in my life and use them for good, if I’ll trust him.
Romans 8:28 isn’t a promise for everyone, though. It’s for “those who love God.” It’s for those who trust God and say, “Here, Lord, you take all the broken pieces of my life and put them together.”
Saint Padre Pio speaks God's message to us, "Pray, trust God and don’t worry!" Sure, there are a lot of problems in the world today, but God is still in control. God is still moving history to a climax. And God is still moving his people toward his best for them.
One day God in his mercy and love will work everything out for his purpose. We will understand in His time why we suffered. He will wipe away every tear and turn every sadness into joy! Jesus alone conquered all pain and even death!
Because God is in control, we can trust him with everything — including the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives.
My goal for life and my message to all of you is this:
"Rejoice always, pray constantly and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16
TRYING TO LIVE THIS SCRIPTURE HAS CHANGED MY WHOLE LIFE.
I send it to you with my love and prayers.
Here is an example of how we teach kids at VBS to practice what Fr. Clair just talked about.