Ave Maria Meditations
We may not look at our pleasures to go to heaven in featherbeds; it is not the way, for our Lord Himself went thither with great pain, and by many tribulations, which was the path wherein He walked thither, and the servant may not look to be in better case than his Master.
+St. Thomas More (Third Order Franciscan), feast day is June 22nd
The Saint wrote this words knowing he would be beheaded in a few days:
Christ knew that many people would be filled with terror when faced with the threat of being tortured and He wanted to encourage them with the example of His own pain, His own sadness, His own incomparable humiliation and fear.
It seems that Christ is making use of His own agony to speak to those who find themselves in such a situation. Be brace, He seems to say: “You who are feeble and weak do not give up hope. You are terrified and depressed, worn down by exhaustion and the dread of torture. Be confident, I have overcome the world and yet I was even much more afraid and appalled, since my suffering grew in proportion with the fearful knowledge of what was causing it. Look how I go before you along this path that is beset with so many fears. Take hold of the edge of My cloak and you will feel flowing from it the power that will not allow your heart’s blood to be contaminated with useless fears and anxieties.
It will hearten you and raise your spirits, especially when you remember that you are following closely in My footsteps. I am faithful, and will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength, but give you the necessary grace to be able to bear the test; and it will fill you with gladness when you remember that this transient tribulation you are asked to bear will become a cargo of immense glory.”