“(Satan)…from the beginning, has nothing to do with the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”John 8:44
I. Hate. Lies.
With all the proverbial chaos in the world; especially the heightened “wokeness” as of late, most of us have been caught in a web or two. Left to sort out between fact & fiction or common sense & science or the brazen declaration(s) of: up is now down or boy is girl we are left to trust very few things.
Regretfully, as “open-book” as I have personally been with others about this great disdain
I still have been lied
(Which others believed.)
(Boldfaced & hidden.)
All of them have been quite the up-close & personal lessons
of walking side-by-side
(Do you think God knows I am a visual learner???)
The lied “about” version I have discovered is easier to forgive. Praying for the people who have told such contemptible untruths is helpful. By grace, a sorrow for their souls and their own wounded nature – which can be the predominate enabler for them to do such a despicable thing – softens my own heart to resemble Christ’s.
As well as, I grieve over those individuals who have believed such babble. They receive my empathy for having remained silent & a genuine concern for the culpability they now shoulder, especially upon discovering the truth for themselves.
However, the lied “to” version; especially when (wrapped) in secret, is the most difficult for me. It is then, in these heart-broken moments, that I immerse myself in the book of Job ~ where I find comfort with him, beside the tree.
“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.”Job 14:7
The following are excerpts taken from a wonderfully written article by Antonio Fuentes describing the book of Job beautifully & why I find comfort there:
The book of Job is included among the wisdom writings precisely because it teaches man that pain and suffering are a mystery of divine wisdom. According to the sacred writer, the truly wise man should realize that “the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, that is understanding” (28:28).
Job, a foreigner, not descended from Abraham, is the central character of the book that bears his name. A wise and wealthy man, he believes in the true God, whom he adores and to whom he offers sacrifice, even in the midst of severe suffering.
The book of Job is one of the most beautiful and accomplished poems in world literature. It has been compared with Dante’s Divine Comedy and Goethe’s Faust. As A. Vaccari says, it deals with an absorbing subject, a deeply human and divinely sublime drama, with such color and warmth of feeling and such variety of form that language and art have here reached their zenith.
The poem is divided into three parts: a prologue (chap. 1-2); a dialogue, taking up the main body of the book (chap. 3-42:6), and an epilogue.
The prologue introduces us to the characters and summarizes the theme of the book. Job, a pious and blameless man, is perfectly happy and contented. The adversary (Satan) insinuates himself among the angels of God’s court and argues that Job’s virtue is not genuine. So God permits Job to be tested. Blow after blow falls on Job, depriving him of his possessions and of his children. But Job remains faithful and then is attacked personally; he becomes gravely ill and disfigured. He accepts with resignation the physical evil which God sends him, just as he had previously accepted the contentment he enjoyed.
Such is Job’s faith that Satan is defeated. But Job’s suffering is so deep that he utters a cry of lamentation—not of despair—when his three friends seek to console him after his being plunged into silence for seven days.
Job starts the dialogue, provoked by his friends’ failure to understand why he is suffering like this. They consider suffering to be punishment for sin (this was the general view at that time), yet Job keeps insisting that he is blameless. They in turn invite him humbly to recognize his fault and beg God’s forgiveness.
At no stage does Job say that he is completely free from sin; what he does maintain is that his suffering is far greater than his faults deserve. One might think that this means he is accusing God of being unjust, but that is not so: He simply cannot make out why God is sending him these sufferings. In fact, in this life God does not reward everyone according to his merits: That happens in the life to come. Therefore, if he sometimes causes suffering to someone who is known to be blameless, his purpose in doing so is to train him in virtue, to make his merits shine even more through the patience he shows.
In the epilogue, in which God takes Job’s three friends to task, Job is declared innocent. To reward his virtue God restores all his property to him, twice over: “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before and ate bread with him in his house” (Job 42:10-11).
There is a happy ending, and the moral is quite clear, even if Job does not grasp it. But he does realize now that there is no reason why God should have to account to anyone for what he does. Man cannot grasp the mysterious ways of divine providence. In permitting the innocent to suffer and even die and in not punishing the evildoer during his lifetime, God has his reasons, even if man cannot grasp them.
The book does not answer the initial question posed; indeed no answer is forthcoming until almost the era of the New Testament. The position of realizing that God has wisely but mysteriously disposed that sometimes even the just are made to suffer despite their innocence remains. However, God will eventually reward their virtue. The problem posed by Job is, basically, what is the origin and purpose of suffering?
Job’s question remains unanswered. He does not discover the reason why innocent people suffer. The furthest he gets is to realize that suffering is part of God’s plan, that it has to be accepted as long as it lasts, and that God does not abandon the sufferer. In this connection it raises other basic points which later revelation—especially that of the New Testament—will be more specific about: (a) suffering tests the genuineness of a person’s virtue; (b) it protects him from pride and makes him more humble; (c) when suffering comes a person’s way he should abandon himself completely into God’s hands.
The entire book opens up a new perspective, that of the reward which awaits, in heaven, those who do God’s will on earth. Job’s suffering, the suffering of a just man who bears it patiently and continues to seek mercy and forgiveness, acquires its fullest meaning in the New Testament. Thus, this text of St. Paul provides an answer to Job’s complaints: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18).
In other words, no matter how much we may suffer on earth, it is nothing compared with the vision of God which awaits us in heaven!
Just like Job, I do not know why these patterns of being lied “about” or lied “to” keep happening to me. I DO know they make me feel extremely devalued. But God is challenging me to go beyond the feeling of it all. He brings me all sorts of teachable moments and I am always open to the lessons He desires me to embrace.
As a matter of fact, He brought me a beautiful one just the other morning.
I know He is lovingly pushing me – as He has always done – to grow closer to Him.
To recognize HE is the trusted one I hoped for.
HE is the only one I should ever hope to please.
Because lying is a heart matter.
And I am so grateful to be tucked safely inside of His.
I know I am not the only one to ever have been hurt by lies that are told or by those who participate in their keeping, thus
I do hope & pray that (maybe) by writing this – there’s a lesson meant somewhere inside for you, too.
Maybe even just directly below.❤️
My most recent Lesson – Taken from the Office of Readings 5/28/21
The Moral Reflections on Job
by Pope St. Gregory the Great
The Interior Witness
He who is mocked by his friend as I am will call on God, and God will answer him. Often the frail mind, when it gains a good reputation among people for the good actions it has performed, dissipates itself in outward delights, thus putting to one side what it inwardly desires and sprawling happily in the luxury of hearing good things said about it. It is not becoming blessed that makes it happy, but being called blessed by other people. As it longs for the applause, so it abandons the very thing it was beginning to be. What made it deserving of praise in God ended up separating this weak soul from God.
Sometimes, on the other hand, the soul perseveres in good works with constancy, and yet is buffeted by derision; it does great things but receives only abuse for them. In the end he who might have come out of himself, given praise, is thrown back into himself by insults. Thus he establishes himself more firmly in God, since outside there is no rest for him. All his hope is fixed in his creator and amongst external ridicule and abuse he wants only the good opinion of the interior witness. The further he is pushed out of human favour, the closer a neighbor he becomes to God. He pours himself out in prayer and, under attack from without, is refined with a more perfect purity so as to enter more deeply into all that is interior.
So it is well said that He who is mocked by his friend as I am will call on God, and God will answer him. The good may be reproached by the wicked, yet they are showing them whom to seek as witness of their actions. While the soul is strengthening itself in prayer, it is uniting itself within itself in the hearing of the Most High by the very act which severs it from the approval of those around it.❤️
But that “mocked by his friend as I am“ is important. Some people are indeed downcast at the ridicule of their fellow-men, but not as Job was: they are not the kind of men to be heard by the ears of God. When the ridicule they receive comes from their sin and not their virtue, they will get no virtuous merit from that derision. For the righteous man’s simplicity is laughed to scorn. It is the wisdom of this world to conceal one’s feelings behind pretense and veil one’s meaning with words, to show things that are false to be true and to show what is true to be fallacious.
It is the wisdom of the righteous, on the other hand, to have no pretense, to use words to mean and not to hide meaning, to love the truth as it is and to avoid falsehood; to do good free of charge and to bear evil more gladly than to do evil; to treat a bad reputation resulting from faithfulness and truth as a reward and not a curse. But this simplicity of the righteous is laughed at, because the virtue of purity is considered to be folly by the wise of this world. Whatever is done in innocence seems to them to have been done in foolishness, and whatever act is commended by faithfulness seems nothing but weakness in the sight of worldly wisdom.
R. I hate the paths of falshood. Your word is a lamp for my steps, and a light for my path.
V. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life. Your word is a lamp for my steps, and a light for my path.
Father in heaven, form in us the likeness of your Son and deepen his life within us. Send us as witnesses of gospel joy into a world of fragile peace and broken promises. Touch the hearts of all men with your love that they in turn may love one another. We ask this through Christ our Lord. ❤️
*Emphasis added by me.
hugs n’ blessings for all the life-giving directions we are being pushed toward!
“Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant.”Job 14:8
“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God for ever and ever.”Psalm 53: 8