OK, let’s get the bad joke out of the way… If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims.
But there is essential truth here. We go through the challenges of showers to discover beauty. We discover that an end of lemons is the means to the sweetness of lemonade. Pain and suffering have meaning for us, reminding us of our humanity, building our compassion for one another, uniting us to the Passion of the Lord. We believe that, through Christ, death leads to life.
If we remain stuck in suffering, standing amidst our own wallow, we have lost the journey. It is a journey of faith, a pilgrimage. April Showers leading to May flowers is the procession of pilgrims.
I am reminded of an old parable. A psychiatric team wanted to do a study on life perspective in young boys. They set up a room with a two way mirror and would observe their reactions.
Before the boys entered the room, they filled the room with manure so that it would be hip-high as each subject entered the room. The first barely took a step into the room before attempting to be released – yelling, kicking, screaming – demanding that the door be opened so that he could get out. The second stood in the room stunned at first, then he cried quietly for a while, and then took on a catatonic state before the researchers intervened. Finally, the last walked into the room, stopped briefly and thoughtfully, then began to walk through and survey the entire room, eventually dropping to his knees and reaching into the manure lifting scoop after scoop above the dung heap. When questioned later by the researchers regarding his reaction, the kid just smiled and observed, “With all the crap in that room, I just figured that there was a pony in there somewhere.”
If you find yourself suffering, know that you are not alone. Keep moving in your journey and pilgrimage. Walk towards May flowers, your pony, and new life with Jesus. Walk in truth. Fr. Yves Conger reminds us that “It is in suffering that we are withdrawn from the bright superficial film of existence, from the sway of time and mere things and find ourselves in the presence of profounder truth.”