Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
We are following the text "Beyond Sorrow" in which we explore the nature of suffering and how to manage and move through difficulties.
An item from a great Christian scholar now. The language is of old English styling; for purposes here, this has been simplified. The essay has also been summarised.
ON LACK OF ALL COMFORT
Thomas a Kempis.
When things are going well, it easy to give praise and thank the Lord; we accept His comfort readily. However, when things are going less well, we are more inclined to seek human, physical consolation and succour, and are less able to take that from God. To be able to overcome the need for consolation and, for His sake, willingly endure desolation of heart without thought of self, that is a great thing indeed. It is a virtue.
We readily accept comfort, but it is with much difficulty that we can surrender our ego and permit God to take charge. One of the things which prevents us doing this, very often, is that it may mean the loss of relationship with those we love here on earth. We are attached. Do not grieve at the loss of 'friends'. The true will never abandon you. What is more, at the end of things, all relationships but the one we have with the divine will be of no value to us. Therefore, cement your connection with the Higher and let the relationships here on earth be as they are. It is not an easy struggle, surrendering one's own will and mastering one's own personality in order to acknowledge a Higher Power. The effort is repaid, however, when we come to know the true succour of the Lord. In our efforts we do well to remember that our beloved Christ Himself suffered much.
Receive God's comfort with a grateful heart; remember it is freely given and does not necessarily reflect your own merit. Be not proud or presumptuous when the Lord's grace is felt in your life. Humility is a great virtue. Know also, that this grace is as likely to pass as any other event and that quite likely there will some challenge in its turn. Do not, then, throw the hands up in despair and bewail your sorrows; know that it is the turning of the Divine Will and accept that this too shall pass.
Divine comfort is granted that a man may be the stronger to endure adversity; and temptation follows, lest he become proud of his virtue. Never cease then in the battle with your own self. Surrender your ego and place yourself in the arms of the Lord. Pray, "Lord, You know what is best; let everything be in accordance with Your will. Give what You will and when You will. I am in Your hands and am Your servant."