Kempis precedes these words by speaking of the ease in which we are discouraged by even small adversities and thus look everywhere but the Lord for help (1,11). While he is focusing more on the battle against the flesh (concupiscence and sin), we can easily apply the good advice found in the headline to all adversities we encounter.
What must have been the discouragement of the two persons we encounter in today’s Gospel (Mk 5:21-43), then, with their great trials? The first, Jairus, sees his young daughter’s declining health and must wonder why the Lord would soon take his beloved child in the flower of youth. The second, the woman with hemorrhages, had exhausted her resources, and undoubtedly her patience, in seeking help from doctors for a cure. Both were desperate and did not count the cost of getting to Jesus. Both fought massive crowds to get to Him. Jairus might have been concerned about receiving grief from other religious leaders who we know, in many cases, looked at Jesus with doubt or even contempt. The woman, likely widely known to be in a permanent “unclean” state, as the womanly period ritually rendered one, fought the crowds, regardless. Both strove valiantly in their battle with fear, dread, sorrow, and pain, with strong faith, to seek the Lord’s help.
Let us learn well from these two souls! We are to have no fear approaching the Lord in our desperation, regardless of our past battles, regardless of what other’s think. Going to Jesus in our trials, whether physical or spiritual, in complete faith that He will answer our prayers in the way that is best for our immortal souls, is what He desires. Always remember these words from Christ:
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mt 11:28)
True rest, that is, true peace of mind and heart, come only when embracing the Lord in all things.
Christ Healing a bleeding woman, as depicted in the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter.