The article of the month

Our Lady of Lourdes by Jennifer Hubbard

We are promised, assured, In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world (Jn 16:33). Sickness and suffering are certainties that will touch all humanity in a multitude of ways and on many levels. These are the troubles that shake a soul in a sudden and unexpected diagnosis, in the forgotten gaze of a lover’s eyes, in the stinging final graveside goodbye: earthly troubles rooted in the unknown and out of human control. I have lived a life riddled with these, and have walked in trouble’s truth. I have begged for sudden healing and experienced the sword that pierces a mother’s heart when she buries her baby. And while it is appealing to consider my pain new and never-before-endured by another living soul, it is not, nor is it unique.

While the world looks to eliminate sickness and suffering, these provide the very place where healing is offered and victory achieved. It is the gentle Mother in the Pietà (Michelangelo, 1498–1499) who teaches us where healing is found as she gathers her crucified Son in her arms. The one who brought sight to the blind, sound to the deaf, and sudden healing for the sick is offered a quiet moment in which his body rests in the gentle embrace of his Mother’s arms. For it is when we lean into our heavenly Mother’s arms that we are offered our heavenly Father’s healing presence. It is enfolded in Mary’s awaiting arms that I have found rest and discovered the still waters of healing.

Jennifer Hubbard resides in Newtown, Conn. The younger of her two children, Catherine Violet, was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.