But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke” —we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence.
Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
As we age, we grow increasingly aware of how vessel-like our bodies are: they ache, break, and malfunction. We could spend much time, money, and energy trying to restore the vessel to how it used to be. But Paul’s words take us in a different direction entirely. Our bodies—our very lives—are meant to carry Christ’s life. We become incarnations of the divine through Christ’s dwelling in us. We carry God’s glory in these bodies, but we also carry the suffering that accompanies love.
Ignatius of Loyola was forced to relinquish pride in bodily beauty and strength when a cannonball marred and disabled him. Yet those close to him in the long years of his ministry noted how joyful he was, how humble, and how grateful to be put to God’s service. He knew that suffering and love were intertwined.
Can we accept the pain with the glory?
—Vinita Wright serves as Managing Editor, New Product Development at Loyola Press, Chicago, IL. Click here to enjoy Loyola Press’s “31 Days with St. Ignatius,” a month-long celebration of Ignatian spirituality in honor of St. Ignatius’ Feast Day on July 31. Content includes articles, blog posts, and videos to help you learn about and apply the principles of Ignatian spirituality.
You know that I fight any kind of inconvenience
and become insulted when real suffering arrives.
Remind me that love, which requires transformation,
involves the pain of change.
Help me welcome any part of life that
nurtures your life in me.