Christ Patiently Suffering - by FERNÁNDEZ, Pedro - from Museo de Arte, Gerona
Jesus Christ Died in-Battle, for us
Greater Love than this, no Man hath,
Maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet
Some People make Perfection, Consist-in an Austere Life;
|Nota Bene: Bible Verses quoted-in this Book are from the English Douay-Rheims Translation, commissioned-by the Catholic Church.|
"In your Patience, you shall Possess your Souls" - Luke 21:19. Nothing is more-Pleasing to God, than the Sight-of Souls, 'Bearing' their Crosses, Patiently. Love also makes the Lover, more-Like the Person Loved. Saint-Francis-de-Sales said: "The Saints Suffer-constantly for Jesus; and this is the Way we too, shall become Saints". A Person who Loves Jesus Christ, wants to be Treated-like Jesus Christ: Poor, Persecuted, and Rejected. Saint John (in Revelation 7:9) saw all the Saints Clothed-in White, with Palms in their hands. The Palm is the Symbol-of Martyrs, and yet all the Saints did not Suffer Martyrdom. Why, then, do all the Saints 'Bear' Palms in their hands? Saint Gregory 'Replies' that "all the Saints have been Martyrs, either of the Sword or of Patience". "We have been Martyrs without the Sword", he adds, "if we keep Patience".
Those who Love Jesus Christ, 'Gain' Merit by-Loving, and by-Suffering. Here is what Our Lord 'Revealed' to Saint Teresa, on the Subject:
Saint Paul writes: "For I Reckon that the Sufferings of this Time, are not Worthy to be Compared-with the Glory to-Come, that shall be Revealed in us" - Romans 8:18. How Readily, then, we should 'Embrace' our Crosses, when we 'Know' that the Temporal Sufferings of this Life, will Win-for us, Eternal (∞) Joy! We cannot 'Gain' the Prize, without Merit; and no-Merit is to be had, without Patience. So the Person who Strives-with the Greatest Patience, will have the Greatest Reward.
Some People, try-to 'Acquire' as many Temporal Goods, as they can; but with-Regard to Eternal (∞) Goods, they say: "It is Enough if we get a little Corner-of Heaven". Such is not the Attitude-of the Saints; Temporal Goods are their Last Concern. In fact, they 'Strip' themselves of all Worldly Things. But they 'Strive' to-Attain as-many Eternal (∞) Goods, as they possibly can. Which Group is Acting more 'Wisely' and 'Prudently'?
Source of Peace
Even in our Present Life, those who Suffer-with the Greatest Patience, certainly 'Experience' the Greatest Peace. In fact, according-to Saint Teresa, those who 'Embrace' the Crosses that God 'Sends' them, do not even 'Feel' them. Peace can never be Found-by those who 'Lead' Disordered Lives, but only by those who Live-in Union (1) with-God, and with-His Holy Will.
We must 'Convince' ourselves, that True Peace-of-Heart in this World, cannot be-Found unless we 'Endure' and Lovingly 'Embrace' Suffering. The Vocation-of the Saints on-Earth, is to-Suffer and to-Love; the Vocation-of the Saints in-Heaven, is to-Enjoy and to-Love.
It is not merely by-Suffering, but by-'Choosing'-to Suffer-for the Love-of Jesus Christ, that we 'Show' the Surest Proof-of Loving Him. And in the Words-of Saint Teresa, "What Greater Treasure can be ours, than to have some-Sign, that we are Pleasing Almighty God?"
Many People become 'Alarmed'-at the mere Mention-of Crosses and Humiliations. Nevertheless, there are many others who are Willing-to Suffer, and would Feel-uneasy, if they were Unable-to Suffer, in this World. We all should Listen-to the Words-of Jesus Christ, Who tells us that if we Wish-to 'Follow' Him, we must Deny ourselves, Take-up our Cross each-day, and Follow-in His Steps (Luke 9:23). But we must do this of our own Free Will, and with Humility, Patience and Love.
Those who Truly Love God, have no-other Purpose in-Life, than to be Entirely United (1) with Him. It therefore Follows, that they must be Resolved not to-'Seek' Pleasure, but to-Suffer in All Things. They must Eagerly 'Embrace' Voluntary Mortifications, and even more-Eagerly 'Accept' Involuntary Ones, since these are more-Pleasing to-Almighty God.
God is-Pleased-with those who Mortify themselves, because of Courage which it Requires. But He is even more-Pleased-with those who have the Courage, to 'Bear' Patiently and Gladly, the Crosses that 'Come' from His Divine Hand.
We should, therefore, 'Beg' God to make us Worthy-of His Love, for if we Love Him Completely, all Material Goods will seem-like Smoke.
"O my God, make me a Saint"