Faith is not something magical: “I believe, so God has to give me the miracle I’m praying for,” or “I pray. Why hasn’t God given me what I asked for?” Let’s look as an example at Mary ’s faith, a solid, sure, strong faith. We can’t even imagine how much she suffered! I wonder what her reaction was to the fact that nobody opened the door to her, even though she was about to give birth. “There is no room for you!” She, too, must have felt fear and anxiety, because she felt her labour pains, but nobody would welcome her—and she knew that she was about to give birth to the Son of God!
Looking at Mary, I realize that sometimes faith is proven in suffering. It always becomes stronger when we go through pain, rejection, exclusion, when we are not recognized, or when even our basic rights are not respected. It is precisely when we are suffering on the cross that the strength to believe is born within us, the strength to believe that joy will come and that we are more mature, more balanced, more sensitive to others, and more capable of loving. There is no other reality like pain to teach you to love, for suffering is the moment when you verify your faith! I assure you that, after the experience of suffering, you will not be childish anymore nor the eternal teenager that you were before. Instead, you will be more truly Christian, more mature, believing and trusting more.
Faith wins! We have to be convinced that if we continue to believe, even in a situation that hurts us, demands from us, and accuses us, it will bring so much good to us and to our family, especially if we are able not to vent that pain, making someone else pay for our interior suffering. Instead, we have to enter into trusting prayer, venting upon God everything that worries and wounds us, trusting Him who is our Father. I am certain that Mary and Joseph, while knocking on the doors of the inns to see if there was a place for them to stay, kept on praying in trust. Faith gave them the certainty that the Lord would not abandon them, that someone would welcome them and that a place or a door would open.
Faith is Someone within us who is stronger than our disappointments, stronger than every closed door. The Blessed Mother carried this presence inside her, within her womb. In her, faith was incarnate. It was the life of that Child whom she pro- tected and by whom she felt protected. Faith is something to take care of, which at the same time takes care of us!
Let’s not waste the immense richness of a faith that is tried. Let’s exercise our faith in the small moments of suffering. Let’s experience that God is with us, He doesn’t abandon us, and He is faithful to His creatures who cry out to Him.
If things in your life don’t go well, or you don’t yet understand them fully, ponder them in your heart. Mary “treasured all these things in her heart.” She, too, did not always understand everything immediately, but she persevered through the moments of uncertainty and suffering with trust that heaven would open and God would win.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of (your) faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9)