“As long as You do not cast me off forever, nor blot me out of the Book of Life; all the tribulations that will befall me will not harm me.” (IC 3,17,4) | “Look to your covenant, for the hiding places in the land and the plains are full of violence. May the humble not retire in confusion; may the afflicted and the poor praise your name.” (Ps 74:20-21)

|The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XVII: ”We Should Place All Our Solicitude in God” (third entry)

The closing words to this chapter appear above. A fitting summation: whatever difficulties we encounter in this life, may we not let it jeopardize our eternal fate in the next life..

|Today’s Responsorial Psalm: Ps 74:1b-2, 3-5, 6-7, 20-21

A psalm that starts out as a lament of devastation at an enemy’s hand, concludes with the glorification of God’s might while imploring Him to “defend your cause.” Praise of God is in order for the afflicted, the poor, and the oppressed (another reading of “humble”) as they place their trust in He who has shown His might to the Chosen People and their enemies throughout the ages.

|Reflection

In our brief time in this mortal coil, we will endure trials, tribulations, hardships, and suffering. How we bear these gives a good indication of our eternal destiny. Do we persevere as did Christ:

My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will. (Mt 26:39)

and Paul:

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. (Rom 8:18)

or do we “kick against the goad,” that is, resist, uselessly and to our own detriment, God’s will (Acts 26:14)?

Like the Psalmist, we are to trust in the Father, praising Him always, even in the most dire circumstances. We certainly can lament these painful circumstances, crying out to the Lord in supplication, but regardless of the outcome, the only proper disposition to the Almighty is praise for who He is and what He ordains. What a tragedy if the Lord were to “blot me out of the Book of Life” due to our failings in times of trouble.

Kicking Against the Pricks – Old Paths Baptist Church

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