Chapter I
Love is Patient


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,
that a Man lay-down his Life, for his Friends.
(John 15:13 - Douay Rheims Bible)

Maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet
ut animam suam quis ponat pro amicis suis.
(John 15:13 - Latin Vulgate Bible)

 

Some People make Perfection, Consist-in an Austere Life;
others in Prayer; others in Frequenting the Sacraments;
others in Almsgiving. But they Deceive themselves:
Perfect Sanctity consists-in Loving God with our Whole Heart.
Jesus Deserves our Love, because-of the Love He has Shown us,
in His Passion and Death.

 

Nota Bene: Bible Verses quoted-in this Book are from the English Douay-Rheims Translation, commissioned-by the Catholic Church.

 

Chapter I
Love is Patient

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Our True Home, where God has Prepared Rest-for us, in Everlasting (∞) Joy, is Paradise. We have only a Little-while, to Remain-in this World, but in this Brief Time, we have many Sufferings to-'Endure'. All Men and Women, are Subject-to Sufferings; be they Saints or Sinners, each one must 'Carry', his or her Cross. Those who 'Carry' it Patiently, are Saved; those who 'Carry' it with-Impatience, are Lost.

Saint Augustine 'Observes'-that, by the Test-of-Suffering, the Chaff in the Church-of-God, is Separated-from the Wheat; those who Humbly 'Accept' Trials and Tribulations, 'Resigning' themselves to the Will-of-God, are Wheat-for-Paradise; those who 'Act' out-of Pride, 'Forsaking' God, are Chaff-for-Hell.

On Judgment Day, we will be 'Examined'-on how Our Life, Conformed-to the Life-of-Jesus-Christ. Our Eternal (∞) Happiness, Rests-in the Balance. This is why the Eternal Word came to Earth; to Teach us by His Example, to-'Carry' Patiently, the Cross that God 'Sends'. Jesus Suffered, to-'Teach' us how-to Suffer. Truly, in Words-of Isaiah (53:3), He was "a Man of Sorrows, and Acquainted-with Infirmity".

Now, in the same-Way, as God has-'Treated' His Beloved Son, so He 'Treats' everyone, whom He Loves: "For whom the Lord Loveth, He Chastiseth" - Hebrews 12:6. For this Reason, too, He said to Saint Teresa: "Know that the Souls, Closest-to My Father, are those to-whom He Sends the Greatest Sufferings". So the Saint said, she would not 'Exchange' her Troubles, for all the Treasures-of the World.

Those who Love God in Suffering, 'Increase' their Reward in Heaven. Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, even said that it was a Great Misfortune, to be Free-from Suffering, in this Life. And he added that an Individual or a Community, that does not-Suffer, and is always Applauded-by the World, is not Far-from a Fall.

 

Patient Endurance

Saints with Palms, as Revealed to Saint John -
from the Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece
(Click to enlarge)

"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:

"My Child, Merit 'Comes'-not from the Enjoyment-of Life; rather it is 'Gained' by-Suffering and by-Loving. Look at My Life, Overflowing-with Afflictions. 'Know', My Child, that the more My Father Loves you, the more-Suffering He 'Sends' you; this is the Trademark-of His Love. Look at My Wounds; your Suffering will never be so-Extensive. It is Absurd to-Think that My Father Favors-with His Friendship, those who are Strangers-to Suffering".

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.

 

sor_ani.gif (75307 bytes)

"O my God, make me a Saint"
Saint Alphonsus Mary Liguori

 

Prayer

Dear and Beloved Jesus, my Treasure. I beg You to make me Worthy-of Your Love. I Love You more than anything else. I Repent-of ever having-Offended You, and of having-Driven You from my Soul, by Sin. I Love You now, more than myself. I Love You with my Whole Heart, Infinite Good.

I Love You, I Love You, I Love You. I want only to-Love You completely. My only Fear, is that in some Tragic Way, I may be Deprived-of Your Love.

My most Loving Redeemer, Help me to-Realize what a Great Good, You really are. My God, never Allow me to-Forget Your Goodness. I have 'Offended' You enough; never let me Leave You again. I want to-Spend the Rest-of my Life, Loving You and Pleasing You.

My Jesus, my Love, Lend me Your Aid. Help a Sinner, who Desires to-Love You, and to be completely Yours.

Mary, my Hope, your Son Listens-to you. Pray to-Him for me, that I may Obtain the Grace-of Loving Him Perfectly.

Amen