A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 16:20-23
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
REFLECTION: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy."
Rita Lotti was a young girl who at a young age was known for her humility and patience. Most important was her love for Jesus. She meditated on His passion daily.
She had promised a virginal betrothal to God and had wanted to be in the convent. However, her parents, who were elderly, wanted her to marry and so she obeyed them.
Her spouse was rich but was filled with anger, insults and always humiliated her. She did not respond to the insults. She quietly took care of the house, cooked for him and did not argue with him. She quietly, through humility and patience and with the continued presence of God in their home converted him .
After her husband converted they were blessed with two sons who were raised catholic. Unfortunately her husband was killed and her grown sons were wanting to avenge his murder. Rita prayed that they would not. Instead of committing murder, they both died of natural causes. Her grief turned into joy. She saved her family.
She entered the convent in Cascia and during that time she climbed the ladder to God by excelling on each virtue as it were a rung on a ladder. For more than forty years, St Rita led a life of rigorous and continual penance, fasting and mortifications.
Sweet and fragrant odors were always with her. Daily she spent hours petitioning Heaven for favors and graces for her own soul and the good of her neighbor. "So efficacious were her prayers that she obtained from God whatever she asked. The devil was intent on doing battle with her." She asked the Lord to please give her one thorn from the crown of thorns that tormented His sacred head. And with a mighty force one thorn pierced her flesh and bone in the middle of the forehead. The thorn was a cause of great pain and a bad odor from the head wound. Her incorrupt body lies in Cascia. (1)
Our mission is not to argue with those who do not act the way we do nor believe the way we do. Nor are we to put them down. We are to reach out to them. Let them see a lifestyle that is so convincing, so appealing, that their curiosity will be tweaked. People are not stupid or unaware of their surroundings. When they come across an individual who is at peace, joyful, free of fear and worry, giving and genuinely happy, no one has to tell them that something is missing from their lives.
Pray to St Rita, the humble Augustinian nun of Cascia, the Saint of the Impossible.
(1) St Rita of Cascia, kindle edition, by Father Joseph Sicardo, O.S.A.