But he, being full of the Holy Ghost,
looking up steadfastly to heaven,
saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened,
and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Teach me, my God, to suffer in peace the afflictions which You send me that my soul may emerge from the crucible like gold, both brighter and purer, to find You within me. Trials like these, which are present seem unbearable, will eventually become light, and I shall be anxious to suffer again, if by so doing I can render You greater service. And however numerous may be my troubles and persecutions...they will all work together for my greater gain though I do not myself bear them as they should be borne, but in a way which is most imperfect. ~St. Teresa of Avila
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for
us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
because we we look not to the things that are seen
but to the things that are unseen;
for the things that are seen are transient,
but the things that are unseen are eternal.
~2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Dear St. Stephen, whose only weapon was love, help us to look up steadfastly to heaven that we may see what you saw and be filled with courage, hope and strength. Amen.