I was hesitant about the theme today because I have not yet quite lived a life laden with suffering. I have lost both of my paternal grand parents in my adolescence which did give me moments of acute grief but it is not like what some of my friends have been through. Not many serious illnesses that I can remember.
But suffering is probably one of the most useful service a soul could do for God. Whilst it is difficult for me to imagine what it is like, it seems a soul that tasted bitterness (that she accepts for God) in life is drawn that much closer to God in that she physically experience a portion of His suffering. On that note, I have a wonderful video I would like you to watch at this point.
DiligoDeus puts up some good meditation videos. She seems sound although I had to point it out the other day when she used an image of Our Lady of "Medjugorje". She did not quote the apparition though so I still have the privilege of endorsing her. She also has a video called "Are only a few saved?" which is a video full of hell fire and brimstone and "Receiving Communion with Mary's Heart" which I thought was the best of its kind I have seen. They can never replace well taught Catechism but every now and then they can serve good purposes, too.
It would seem as though suffering itself is a kind of calling from God. A vocation, if you will. Our Lady's life seems to reflect this quite well. When it was nearly time for the Eternal Word of God to come to us, Our Lady was immaculately conceived. Then came the Annunciation to which She said "Fiat". Then came the moment of Passion in which She participated in the most perfect manner ever possible to any mortal man. Her Assumption and Coronation were all punctually in God's timetable, too. Our Lady might have had some human yearning after Our Lord's Ascension but I have absolutely no doubt Her joy and conviction of being reunited with Him would have far surpassed any such passing emotions. Perhaps that is just one of many reasons we look upon Her so much; as God's plan was in full work in Her, with no obstacle to be found. Perhaps that is partially what Sanctity is; letting God do what He wants to do. The greater the trust and submission, the greater the Sanctity. I am not sure if that is true but She certainly had the greatest trust and submission to God's will and She certainly is the greatest of all saints.
Now, this is a good place to introduce the Seven Dolors of Our Lady. It is a devotional prayer like the Rosary. It is the collection of seven sufferings of Our Lady; Prophecy of Simeon, Flight to Egypt, Losing Jesus in the temple when He was a child, Meeting Him on His way up to Calvary, His Crucifixion and Death, Taking Him down from the Cross after His Death and His burial. You meditate upon each of them to share in the suffering of Our Lady. It has a chaplet a bit like the Rosary but with only seven beads. That would make a great Lenten gift for our mothers, I should imagine. In fact, if I am not in the military yet, I should make her one next Lent. She rather liked the Rosary I made her for her anniversary gift so she will like this one, too.
|Notice the seven small beads for seven recitations of Ave Maria.|
Can we apply this to God, too? If we give Him much, can we require much from Him, too?
That parallel falls flat on its face. Gift of Baptism has already taken away all hopes of matching His giving. In fact the very fact that one is breathing at all is a gift one cannot hope to match. But I do wonder if a soul suffers more for God, if a soul proves her love for God more joyfully, more consolation and more Grace could be poured upon her. This much I believe to be true; every broken, twisted limb in this world; every cry of agony and anguish in this world earns a soul back home. God hates it more than we do, but we need it more than God does. He does not inflict it upon us because He needs to; He needs nothing! Rather, it seems the only way to even entertain the idea of saving some certain souls in this world is to have strong and pure souls suffer as a holy reparation. We need to pray more for these souls being tried in this fire of holy suffering, those who make reparation and restitution for all the blasphemies and offences. A bit like her (a Catholic convert introduced in the Catholic Herald before).
And Him. (Watch from 38:00 to 44:32)
Evangelisation is probably the most important commandment we were given by Christ.
Loving one another is indeed The New Commandment but you need to teach them how to love. Missionaries have that immense joy and responsibility of teaching them how to love, of carrying out His last commandment on earth; Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mk 16:15) However, if evangelisation is winning bread for the family, suffering for Christ I guess could be like good housekeeping. Thanking and embracing come what may, letting Divine Providence be fulfilled, letting God do what Divine Economy (housekeeping in Greek) requires. Sinners will put the household in deficit and holy suffering souls will pay back the deficit. By the way, who is the Heavenly Treasurer, the housekeeper in Heaven?
|Our Lady of perpetual help|
I will attach that video I mentioned earlier; "Receiving Communion with Mary's Heart." By the way, its background music is Canticle of Love!