Principles of Life 5
The Benefit of Insight In Reading Scriptures and Lives of the Saints
No matter who we are, we all will go through conflicts and afflictions. Its a matter of when not if. What happens to many is that they wait until they are going through the conflict and afflictions to figure out how to deal with it. Its almost like taking a test on the History of the Church but not reading or studying the History! So below is a few thoughts, ideals and tools that can be helpful in preparing for the conflict and affliction that will come into your life. And they will come.
Everyone one who died a Saint became a Saint through afflictions.
This is why God allows affliction in our lives. Some of us go through more afflictions then others. When you feel that your burden is harder to bare then others don't think the worse. Be positive! Two things to consider.
One, God does not give you more than you can handle.
(I Corinthians 10:13) “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.” If you think it is to much to bare, then in essence you saying God does not know what he is talking about!
Two, God uses afflictions to help you learn his statutes, that is his laws or principles that help you to be a better person.
David, when writing the Psalms says, “It is good for me that thou hast humbled (afflicted) me, that I may learn thy justifications (statutes, law or principles).” (Psalms 118:71)
Reading the Psalms
I pray the divine office every day and most times I pray all the hours. At each of the hours are several Psalms. Almost every time that I read them, if I am truly meditating on them and not just going through the routine, I find something that speaks to me. I put myself in the shoes of the one who wrote the Psalms. My suggestion is to read through the Psalms and underline every verse which has meaning to you. Then begin memorizing and meditating on these verses. I even at times put a date next to the verses that spoke to me about a situation in my life at the time. That way when and if I came back to those verses later, I can remember how God worked in my heart during that time.
Reading the Proverbs
The Book of Proverbs is one of the Wisdom Books, along with Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and the Canticle of Canticles, the book of Wisdom, Ecclesiaticus and Sirach.
The primary purpose of the book of proverbs is to teach wisdom, not only to the young and inexperienced but also to the learned.
(Proverbs 1:1-7) The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young -let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance -for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. and then in verse 7 we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs.
I recommend reading each day the chapter that corresponds to the day of the month, and ask God to reveal new principles that we can apply to our particular problem.
Reading the biographies of Saints
Last but not least, read biographies of great saints in the Church. Visualize their circumstances in the light of what we are now experiencing. “Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human.” ( I Corinthians 10:13) All people go through temptations. Even the Saints. “We also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us:” (Hebrews 12:1) We have all those in heaven encouraging us! They know what we have been through. They want to intercede for us. They are crying out Run! Run! Run, toward the fight! They are there for us to intercede, The scriptures are there for our encouragement, And the Church is there with all the graces needed to not only enter the fight but to win it!