Skip to content

Dealing With “Situations”

by on January 8, 2023

Dealing With “Situations”

by Br. Mark Dohle

Br. Mark is a lifelong Cistercian (Trappist) monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. He has recently been diagnosed with Covid 19. Although in isolation, he is greatly concerned about his fellow monks, many of whom are elderly. I heard from him as recently as this morning and he is having a tough time with Covid. MMP

All comments are welcome and will receive a reply. All previous posts are open for comment.

Dealing with ‘situations’

I plead with you–never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”

Pope John Paul II

I guess you can say, that we all have times in our lives when the above quote may not seem helpful. Sickness, loss of a loved one, or a job, health issues, and of course, becoming old, bring with it its own list of problems, issues, and situations that have to be faced.

Bromides, and just about any saying no matter how wise, can actually cause some harm to people. However, the content can be true, and even helpful. The gist of the matter is that each of us has to decide, choose, listen, and, then put into practice what is said. Not always an easy thing to work through.

In my own life, there are times when I have chosen to ‘sink’ so to speak. To make matters worse by entering into a state of ennui, or into a desperate desire to escape an unescapable situation. Unless someone dies young and quickly, there will be more than one situation in our lives when we will be brought to a place of choice, but may not choose at all. Chaos can be given into. In some ways, it is easier than choosing ‘life’ over the netherworld.

Suffering of all kinds can throw us back upon ourselves, blocking everything else out. When in deep suffering we often can’t center ourselves. The tendency is to make the world responsible, causing rage, or blame God, making the situation worse. It is an outward movement away from prayer, there is nothing to stand upon that is lasting. It can cause deep restlessness even when fatigue is present. We want to be anywhere but here at this time.

For most of us, if the situation is not terminal, we do get through it, adapt, and life goes on. If during such situations we become more pointed in what we want to do, something else can happen.

 Many find God when in the depth of suffering. It is then that prayer and the relationship with God become real and not just something we may do from time to time. The term “Christ with Us” for Christians, becomes something real and we learn to unite our sufferings with His for the salvation of others. For in prayer, there is a deep connection with our fellow man.

Sickness of all kinds is common. Today Covid seems to be everywhere, so it is not hard to meet people who have gone through it more than once. For the most part, the majority seem to get through it without much fuss. For others, it can be very painful, and then there are those who die. No one knows why some get ill, and die, and others, even with Covid, prosper. There always seem to be more questions than actual answers to our important concerns.

By the grace of God, I was able to more or less stay focused so as not to get dragged down. I have come to understand my age, my fragility, on a new level, and it makes me more aware of how important life is, and how each moment is a time of loving choice, to choose to say yes even in the midst of feeling alone, and isolated from God. I do not believe such feelings, or emotions, they pass, as do all things. God’s love never passes, for God is with us.-Br.MD

Advertisement

From → Uncategorized

10 Comments
  1. Tilly permalink

    Thank you for sharing this message of hope & encouragement Br Mark. I send you my positive thoughts and energy, and hope you are able to get through this period of illness.
    One maxim that I always find myself going back to in challenging times is a quote from Winston Churchill. ” If you’re going through hell, keep going”. Simple and to the point but with a touch of humor.
    I wish you speedy healing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mkdohle permalink

      Thank you Tilly, good hearing from you. Yes, I agree, a good sense of humor always help, also it is not all bad, sort of a retreat for me as well.

      Peace
      Mark

      Like

  2. Thank you, Mark. Your wisdom applies universally. Yes, it’s easy to give up, and even to blame that giving up on Fate. But those of us still reading this and still responding came through one way or another.

    I would offer to bring you a kettle of chicken soup, but knowing your resources there I am comfortable feeling you are well taken care of. You have spent decades taking care of others. Sit back and accept care for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mkdohle permalink

      Yes, we do take good care of each other. The chicken noodle sounds good LOL.

      Peace
      Mark

      Like

  3. Dana permalink

    Br. Mark, I felt I could especially relate to this direct quote from you, “There always seem to be more questions than actual answers to our important concerns.” Life has certainly seemed that way for me much of the time from early childhood. I asked so many questions out of curiosity but rarely received satisfying answers.

    COVID is such a weird illness. I recently recovered from it myself, and while it felt like very much like a bad flu, there were elements that made it feel different. I really do hope you find respite and are able to rest and recover easily and quickly. Thankfully even in isolation you are probably not alone, and have others from whom to accept help and care.

    We will be looking forward to your next post when you are able to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mkdohle permalink

      Yes, Covid is a true mystery. Most of the people who are coming for retreat have had it, some almost died from it. I guess in the end everyone will get it. One of our old timers, who is 95 has covid, and doing much better than me, I am thankful for that.

      Peace
      Mark

      Like

  4. Lisa permalink

    Thank you for this uplifting post, Brother Mark. Many healing thoughts to you as you recover. I am often reminded of something my grandfather used to say, often: “Just keep going.” To lose hope is to give up. There are simply not answers to every question. We must forge forward with the hope that things will get better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mkdohle permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly, thank you. Eak day is a gift with unique challenges.

      peace
      mark

      Like

  5. Steve permalink

    I do not possess the eloquence of the previous responses, but I do appreciate your words and wish you a speedy recovery to full health as well as safety from the pandemic for your fellow brothers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mkdohle permalink

    Thank you Steve for you well wishes, and I wish the same for you and your loved ones.

    Peace
    Mark

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: