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vol, 9
no. 85

Getting to the
Heart of the Matter
by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto
INTRODUCTION: "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue she brings into focus how God gives us crosses and trials in life to make us stronger in her column today entitled "OUR CROSSES ARE TRULY BLESSINGS".

     Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


      All of us suffer every day. The cross can come to us in various sizes. It takes the form of minor annoyances that move many to "cuss" a bit in traffic. It takes a medium form in daily fatigue and the stress that comes in meeting deadlines and putting up with irritating people. But the cross can come in grandiose-size in the form of a terminal illness, the loss of a loved one, the loss of an important job, etc.

      However it comes, we can be certain that the Hand of God is with it. That is, God will not permit us to have a cross without at the same time giving us ALL that we need to bear it and without His being right there.

      I know that most people donít think of their crosses as blessings from God, but they are. A fruit tree bears better and healthier fruit, if at appropriate times it gets pruned. Some of the branches must be cut away. There must be a struggle... in patience... in order for us to be "purified" and made better.

      I heard a story recently that gives clarity to my point. It is as follows.

    The Moth and the Cocoon

          A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On the day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force its body through that little hole.

          Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck. Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily.

          But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

          What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.

          Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, He would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

    (Author unknown)
Think about it and may God bless you!

May 1-3, 1998     volume 9, no. 85
Sister Lucy Column