01 October 2020

Do you need a Jobian trial?

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP

St. Dominic Priory, NOLA

Brothers, I think we're supposed to pity Job. All the horrors that happen to him. We're suppose to recoil and give thanks to God that we haven't been tested like he was. And that would be exactly the right reaction. But consider this: in the middle of his trial Job is more confident than ever that God will see him vindicated AND his desire to be with his Lord is radically clarified: “. . .my inmost being is consumed with longing.” Satan's plan is to break Job's dependence on God. Satan bets that Job will buckle under the torture and renounce God, giving in to pride and eventually taking the doomed path of trying to become god w/o God. He doesn't. Instead, Job accepts reality as it is not as he wishes it were. He accepts his creatureliness as a given, knowing – as a matter of providence – that his existence is a gift. This truth is what makes his trial bearable, if not entirely intelligible. We know how Job's trial ends. We know that his attempt to grasp at an explanation, an answer to why?, ends in mystery. How does this mystery deepen our own longing for God? Do we need a Jobian trial to perfect our humility?!




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  1. Anonymous8:22 PM

    Is Job in some ways the kind of paradigm for how we should suffer

    And if so, when we are unable to suffer with his patience and acceptance are we sinning in thought at the very least

    1. I've never understood the idea that Job suffers with patience. He is anything but patient! He whines and complains and whinges with the best of them. I don't think anyone sins by doing what Job did. If you know that everything you have and are is a gift from God and then you whine and complain like Job. . .then, yeah, that is probably a sin. But so few of us get the chance to experience God the way Job did. What happened to him AFTER the end of his story???