Then Job answered: “Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength—who has resisted him, and succeeded?— he who removes mountains, and they do not know it, when he overturns them in his anger; who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the Sea; who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;who does great things beyond understanding, and marvelous things without number. Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. He snatches away; who can stop him? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him? Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. If I summoned him and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
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.
Though we typically treat Job like the poor, suffering retch who gave up on God, the one the Almighty had to take to task with roaring reminders of his power and might, Job did have his moments. “I know that my Vindicator lives!” he proclaims in a later chapter. “I shall see God/my inmost flesh is consumed with longing.” Yes, Job had his passion and poetry.
And he reminds me that in moments of suffering and even outright torment, I can cry to the heavens, too, recalling to myself that my Vindicator shall have the last word in all things. Though the Church may flail around me in heart-breaking, soul-shaking scandal, God remains God and it is him that I worship, him that I serve, him that I long to see face to face.
Lord, I beg you for the grace of reform where needed, first in me and then in your beloved Church.
—Liz Kelly is the author of the award-winning Jesus Approaches published by Loyola Press and trained as a director in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
—Peace Prayer of St. Francis