Ave Maria Meditations
Suffering, like fire tried gold, transforms us into the heart of Christ. God never intended nor wanted man to suffer. Man fell through disobedience from the paradise God created. Christ’s sufferings on the cross gives our sufferings value, purpose, and meaning until the day when paradise is restored.
We unite our sufferings now, no matter how great or small, to Jesus truly present before us in the Blessed Sacrament. He takes them and offers them to His heavenly Father in union with those He suffered for us on Calvary. He purifies them with His Blood and gives them unspeakable beauty by offering them with the love with which He endured his passion.
God uses sufferings for three purposes. One is to purify us from self -love, ego, and pride so that our disposition they always be that of the Psalmist: “I bind myself to do your will”. The freedom of heart is given when we run the way of God’s holy will otherwise we are in slaved by our own selfishness.
Before he died, Venerable Bishop Sheen was asked by a telephone television reporter what the difference was between the young Fr. Fulton Sheen and the 80-year-old Bishop with whom he was talking. The answer was “wisdom acquired through suffering”.
The second purpose of suffering is that it creates a compassionate heart. Through suffering, one become sensitive to the crisis and needs of others.
The third purpose is that it has a redemptive value when we accept and offer it to God in union with the passion of our Lord. The will of God is that all His children to be saved. For this end, He allows human suffering in order that one man may merit necessary graces for another who otherwise would be lost. Like St. Paul, through our suffering we make up what is wanting in the mystical body of Christ.
Fr. Martin Lucia