What have you been praying for — for a long time? Even if it’s been many years, that does not mean that your prayers are not being answered. It just means that you’re carrying the Cross with Jesus. The longer it takes, the greater the glory will be. It’s going to be more glorious because you persisted. And the pain of persisting — sacrificing your impatience, for example, brings about a more glorious end!
Christina Semmens of “Say Yes to Holiness” interviews Terry Modica
Christina Semmens is a Catholic author, speaker, coach and spiritual mentor. She interviewed Terry Modica for Holy Week 2021 on her podcast “Say Yes to Holiness“.
This podcast is also available as a video >>
Evangelization is a lot harder today because the world’s gotten a lot darker and people are caught up in the lies and tricks of Satan, the snares of Satan. It used to be that we could be friends with unbelievers and help them become interested in Christ through the way they’d see us handle stressful situations with peace and joy. They would say, “What do you have that I’m missing?” Now they’re saying, “You’re bad and I’m good.” It’s moral relativism reaching its conclusion: “Anything goes, and I’m my own god, I can make up my own mind what’s right and good and what’s sinful and what’s not sinful. So why would I even want to come to you? You’re the enemy!”
It’s practically impossible to evangelize somebody whose mind is set, trapped in the mindset of the world. There’s not much we can do. We have to just pray for them and wait on the Lord to do something awesome. The Lord has us in a place where he’s teaching us that without him we can’t do it. When we pray and don’t see the answers to our prayers, the Lord is teaching us persistence: Don’t give up! A greater glory is coming!
I think that the Lord is planning a renewal, because as dark as things get, God has a plan to conquer that darkness. The good that comes from the bad is always going to be far greater than how bad the bad was.
Our part in God’s plan while we wait is to get as holy as we can be, get as close to God as we can, get as purified as we can be, because that’s how we get through the suffering with joy instead of being miserable all the time.
We’re now in a time of prayer and getting ready for the glory of the next phase while we’re waiting for others to turn to Christ. This is something that the Lord keeps bringing to my mind when I bemoan the way things are. He’s asking, “Are you willing to go through some hard times for the sake of those people who have not yet turned to Me?”
A really good Holy Week meditation (or it can be done any time) is to make a list of every person who has wounded you in any way. Then think about: How does each one of those situations connect to what Jesus went through?
When you stop and reflect on how you and Jesus are united in these sufferings, a couple of things happen. One is that your burden is lighter because you’re becoming more aware that Jesus is taking some of your pain. Jesus said that when they reject you they’re rejecting him. So, whenever somebody hurts us they are hurting Jesus. That makes me weep for them. It makes me stop crying for myself out of self-pity and weep for them.
The other thing that happens is that our suffering becomes redemptive. The worst kind of suffering is the suffering that’s got no point to it. No glory of God. It’s just pain. It’s just pain that we want to get rid of. When we realize that we can connect it to Jesus and offer it up for the people who have been hurting us, our suffering becomes redemptive. It’s got a purpose. It’s got an eternal, noble purpose. An awesome purpose. And we are so united to Jesus that it brings us joy even in the midst of our tears.