"Pain is like fabric. The stronger it is, the more it's worth."—Antonietta Meo
Original piece by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash.
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In the original photo, the eye immediately fixates on the brightness of the woman’s hijab, a garment worn by some Muslim women. I wanted to exaggerate that, so I brightened the fabric and desaturated the woman’s surroundings to a point that it looks like she is walking alone on some moon-like, lifeless land.
Muslims and Christians
I found this talk by Dr. Scott Hahn incredibly fascinating as he explores what distinguishes Islam and Christianity. Both faiths believe in the same God and yet understand him in different ways. Lighthouse Talks: Abba or Allah
About the Quote
While the quote nowadays is often attributed to John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, these words were first spoken and attributed to a young Italian girl around 1936. Little Antonietta was six years old when she spoke these precious words, shortly before she passed away from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Her story can be read here: Venerable Antonietta Meo
This quote reminds me to endure pain and offer it up to God. Pain and suffering has a way of chiseling us. It can either make us bitter or make us better. I write more about it here: The Design of Suffering
Why is pain worth something? In a mysterious way, we can offer it up as an expression of love and a means of healing. The brief prayer below makes this clear. Mother Mary herself—during her appearances in Fatima, Portugal in 1917—requested that we pray this:
O my Jesus, I accept and bear with submission whatever crosses God permits in my life today, for love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Jesus also told Saint Faustina that offering our prayers and suffering is the most effective way to convert sinners. Prayer must be genuine and heartfelt, dripping with faith that it will be heard and received. There’s so much spiritual warfare going on and our human eyes just cannot see it. Prayer is a time when we can enter into it and contribute.