Suffering

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The Crucifixion - by GRÜNEWALD, Matthias - from Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar

 

No Pain . . . . . . No Gain
No Guts . . . . . . No Glory
No Cross . . . . . No
Crown

 

Several Short Treatises on Suffering

from the Saints

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We cannot avoid taking up our own Cross, for out of Suffering and Death comes Resurrection and Union with God.

What kind of Suffering are we talking about? Does it have to be long Fasts, Penances and Hair Shirts? For many of us this would be an easy way out. If we take Life as it is, and try to live every moment in Obedience to the way Jesus taught us, we will find more than enough Suffering. To behave Patiently, Gently, Lovingly, towards everyone we meet, can demand a Deeper, more Agonizing Suffering than any Scourging we might inflict on ourselves. The Ordinary Events of Life will provide us with a Daily Cross. And if we accept them Willingly, they will be our way of Sanctification.

Some people have the idea that Christianity is a kind-of Stoicism. They imagine that if a Christian Suffers X-Number of Crosses in his Life, he will get X-Degrees of Glory in the Next. But Christ told us that it is our Suffering that will be changed into Joy. We don't Suffer and then get Paid, Sufferings are not to be borne for Wages. They are creating our Glory. That is the Mystery of the Cross.

Jesus was Obedient to the Father until Death. He fulfilled the Plan of the Father because He shared the same Spirit, the same Love.

Whilst going through the Painful process of trying to Die to ourselves this Lent, in order to become open to God's Will, we will have noticed that whenever our lifestyle Conflicted with the Gospel Message there was real Suffering. We will have collected some Wounds. The Risen Christ bears His Wounds to reveal His Glory. Our Wounds, gained in Dying in Obedience to our Heavenly Father, will reveal our Salvation.

 

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The Blessed Virgin Mary on Suffering

sor_ani.gif (75307 bytes) If the Eternal Father chooses a Soul to the Grace of becoming among the Elect, He will order that Soul to become similar to His Only Begotten Son while on Earth. But in what way should this Soul be like His Son? In Love and Acceptance of Sufferings. If you follow your Jesus in these Two (2) Ways, then the Eternal Father will recognize His Holy Son in you.

The Souls chosen by the Eternal Father to offer their lives, must strive to Save as many other Souls as possible. This can be done through Fervent Prayer, through the Practicing of Love, through Meekness, Humility and Self-Denial, but above all, through the Patient Acceptance of Sufferings. I believe that My Motherly Heart will find among my children Souls who Love God with the Love of the Martyrs.

bvm.jpg (9509 bytes) My children, even in the time of the greatest Trials, hold My Motherly Hand with Unbounded Trust. Come together with me to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He is your Strength in your Earthly Pilgrimage. Thus, Strengthened by Him daily, you will march toward your Eternal Dwelling Place of Happiness where you will recognize each other in Glorious Ecstasy, you who Sacrificed your lives for the Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls. Then My Holy Son will embrace you to His Flaming Heart, and He will immerse you in the Ecstasy of the united Love of the Trinity. In this State of Eternal Bliss you will rejoice forever together with those Souls who were able to gain Eternal Life because of your Selfless Life Sacrifice.

No matter how Heavy your Suffering on Earth, it will last but a Short Time. Rejoice while you Suffer, because you are proceeding toward a Sure Goal, and at the end of this road your Heavenly Mother is waiting for you to embrace you with the Eternal Love of the Trinity. My children! I am calling you to Apostolic Privilege. You are chosen to Suffer Martyrdom of the Heart for the Sins of others. And by this Voluntary Life Sacrifice -- coming from your Good Heart -- God will be able to pour out the Flood of His Mercy. Think about that! My Beloved Children! If you carry Patiently the Little Thorn from the Cross of My Son that He has given to you, you can Save countless Souls from Eternal Damnation. Thus, holding the hand of your Heavenly Mother, you too will Partake in the Work of Redemption. My children! Do not ask-for Sufferings, but always accept with Humility and Selflessness, those that the Lord hands to you.

 

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on Suffering

sheen.gif (6584 bytes) The great difference between a Christian and a Pagan in such a Trial is that the Christian receives Suffering; he even speaks of it as coming from the Hands of the Crucified; the Unbeliever, however, finds no place for it in the Universe because it negates his Egotism; it cancels out his Love-of-Pleasure, and it begets an Inferno within him.

A Cross to the Christian is outside him and therefore Bearable; the double Cross on the inside of the Unbeliever is Insoluble, Unbearable.

 

Saint Francis de Sales on Suffering

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The Everlasting God has in His Wisdom foreseen from Eternity the Cross that He now presents to you as a Gift from His inmost Heart.

This Cross He now sends you He has considered with His All-Knowing Eyes, understood with His Divine Mind, tested with His Wise Justice, warmed with Loving Arms and weighed with His Own Hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you.

He has Blessed it with His Holy Name, Anointed it with His Grace, Perfumed it with His Consolation, taken one last glance at you and your Courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a Special Greeting from God to you, an Alms of the all-Merciful Love of God.

St Francis de Sales

 

Saint Alphonsus Liguori on Suffering

alphonsus_ligouri.gif (15004 bytes) And when God sends us Crosses, let us not only be Resigned, but let us also thank Him, since it is a Sign that He means to Pardon our Sins and Save us from Hell.

 

 

Audio Treatises on Suffering


An 8 minute homily by Father Leo Clifford
on your Cross and Suffering


A short 6 minute Spiritual Reflection
on Suffering by Father Frank Pavone


An excellent talk by Father Robert Spitzer
on how Suffering can be the most
meaningful moments of our lives


by Father Paul Hinnebush, O.P., STM