The Cross reveals Christ´s love
See also suffering, victim love, Interior Martyrdom, Saints,
The Cross is the Path to Union with Christ.
-Fr. Jordi Rivero, Love Crucified
God Our Father bestowed on us the power to love, but through sin, we misused it. Instead of loving God and neighbor, we became driven by self gratification. Satan exploits this desire in order to enslave us. We are incapable, by ourselves, of resisting him. We even think that this condition is normal.
Christ came to set us free. How? Through the power of His love by which He died on the Cross. What happened at the Cross? Satan threw all his power against Christ to destroy Him. But Christ defeated him by embracing the Cross with love. Nothing would stop Him from loving the Father and us. Christ´s love transformed the cross into the sign of His victorious love.
The power of the Christian is the power of the Cross, the power of Christ's love that does not give up when faced with suffering. But we must enter the cross. Satan uses our fears to make us retreat when faced with the cross. This happens in two ways: We fear suffering for doing what is right. For example, defending the inocent. There is also the fear of giving up our attachment to desires for self gratification. There is only one way to freedom from all fear: To look at Jesus Crucified and be moved by His love to suffer with Him. Love overcomes all fear. If we are at first not moved, we must persevere. Ask for the power of His Spirit. Once we choose love, they may crucify us but they can do us no harm. This is the "word of the Cross... the power of God" that St. Paul teaches from experience (1Cor 1:18). It puts to death the rebelliousness of our flesh so that we can live the new life in Christ.
The Cross is not just the spirituality of some Christians; it is the only way to become one with Christ. Benedict XVI taught that, "The way of the cross is in fact the only way that leads to the victory of love over hate, of sharing over egoism, of peace over violence">>> In this context, the Lord asks the Love Crucified Community: "Suffer all with me, no longer two but one, in my sacrifice of love". More
When man does not want to be creature, God becomes a creature.
Whereas Adam did not acknowledge his creatural being and wanted to put himself in God’s place, Jesus, the Son of God, was in a perfect filial relationship with the Father, he emptied himself and became the servant, he took the path of love, humbling himself even to death on a cross, to set right our relations with God. The Cross of Christ thus became the new tree of life. Text
The Folly of the Cross
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
St John Paul II: Comments this passage in Veritatis Splendor #85
"The Church makes her own the Apostle Paul's awareness of the mission he had received: ...The Crucified Christ reveals the authentic meaning of freedom; he lives it fully in the total gift of himself and calls his disciples to share in his freedom."
The Cross is the answer of love in face of evil
"In the face of the horror of Auschwitz there is no other response than the Cross of Christ: Love descended to the very depths of the abyss of evil to save man in his core" -Benedict XVI text.
"By a beautiful paradox of Divine love, God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life. We have slain Him; we have nailed Him there and crucified Him; but the Love in His eternal heart could not be extinguished. He willed to give us the very life we slew; to give us the very Food we destroyed; to nourish us with the very Bread we buried, and the very Blood we poured forth. He made our very crime into a happy fault; He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption; a Consecration into a Communion; a death into Life Everlasting." (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, This is the Mass)
Christ shared our weakness
2 Cor 13:4
"For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we shall live with him by the power of God"
We share in His love-cross and in His weakness-strength
"When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
"The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." And he said to all, 'If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it"
Pope Francis, comments: We “cannot think about the Christian life apart from this path, from this journey that he first made”. It is “the journey of humility, and of humiliation, of self-emptying”. For “the Christian way of life without the cross is not in fact Christian” and “if the cross is a cross without Jesus, it is not Christian”. Taking on a Christian way of life therefore means “taking up one’s cross with Jesus and going forward”. Christ himself has shown us this way by emptying himself. Text
We cannot justify placing a cross on others
"The world is saved by the Crucified One, not by those who crucified him… Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. -Benedict XVI Inaugural Homily Text
O Cross of Christ!
O Cross of Christ, symbol of divine love and of human injustice, icon of the supreme sacrifice for love and of boundless selfishness even unto madness, instrument of death and the way of resurrection, sign of obedience and emblem of betrayal, the gallows of persecution and the banner of victory.
O Cross of Christ, today too we see you raised up in our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit and decapitated by barbarous blades amid cowardly silence.
O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the faces of children, of women and people, worn out and fearful, who flee from war and violence and who often only find death and many Pilates who wash their hands. -Pope Francis, Via Crucis, 2016
The Cross takes us to the embrace of Jesus
Thus we enter the New Covenant of intimate union of divine love.
Pope Benedict XVI said of St. Veronica:
"Veronica proved a courageous witness of the beauty and power of Divine Love which attracted her, pervaded her and inflamed her. Crucified Love was impressed within her flesh as it was in that of St Francis of Assisi, with Jesus’ stigmata. “‘My Bride’, the Crucified Christ whispers to me, ‘the penance you do for those who suffer my disgrace is dear to me’.... Then detaching one of his arms from the Cross he made a sign to me to draw near to his side... and I found myself in the arms of the Crucified One. What I felt at that point I cannot describe: I should have liked to remain for ever in his most holy side” (ibid., I, 37). This is also an image of her spiritual journey, of her interior life: to be in the embrace of the Crucified One and thus to remain in Christ's love for others.
Veronica also experienced a relationship of profound intimacy with the Virgin Mary, attested by the words she heard Our Lady say one day, which she reports in her Diary: “I made you rest on my breast, you were united with my soul, and from it you were taken as in flight to God”.
St Veronica Giuliani invites us to develop, in our Christian life, our union with the Lord in living for others, abandoning ourselves to his will with complete and total trust, and the union with the Church, the Bride of Christ."
She said to her sisters: "We cannot go preaching around the world to convert souls, but we are obliged to pray continually for all those souls who are offending God ... particularly with our sufferings, that is with a principle of crucified life" Text
The Cross Changes Suffering into a Declaration of Love
Benedict XVI: "This is the "folly" of the cross: a folly capable of changing our sufferings into a declaration of love for God and mercy for our neighbor" Text
St. Theresa of Avila: Love is the measure of our ability to bear crosses When He sees a soul who loves him greatly, he knows that soul can suffer much for him, whereas one who loves him little will suffer little. For my own part, I believe that love is the measure of our ability to bear crosses, whether great or small. So if you have this love try not to let the prayers you make to so great a Lord be words of mere politeness…Unless we make a total surrender of our wills to the Lord so that he may do in all things what is best for us, he will never allow us to drink from his fountain living water. -The Way of Perfection, ch.32, 5-9.*
Saint Ignatius of Loyola:
"The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ."
Few Love the Cross -Thomas Kempis
More on the Centrality of the Cross-Love
Fathers St. John Chrysostom:
The shame and power of the cross
"In themselves death and imprisonment and chains cause shame and reproach. But when ...the mystery is viewed aright, they will appear full of dignity and the matter for boasting. For it was that death on the cross that saved the world when it was perishing". Like St. Paul, St. John Chrysostom teaches that if we treasure Christ's death for us at the cross, then we will appreciate the value of our own crosses."
"Only by taking the 'way of penance and renewal', the 'narrow way of the cross', can the People of God extend Christ’s reign". #853
Leo the Great:
"No degree of cruel inhumanity can destroy the religion founded on the mystery of the cross of Christ"
Pope Pius XII
"the duty of associating their sufferings with the torments of our Divine Redeemer... We are made Flesh of the Crucified in Baptism" Text
The Church's experience shows that every form of holiness, even if it follows different paths, always passes through the Way of the Cross, the way of self-denial.
The Saints' biographies describe men and women who, docile to the divine plan, sometimes faced unspeakable trials and suffering, persecution and martyrdom. They persevered in their commitment: "they have come out of the great tribulation,” (Rev 7,14)… The example of the Saints encourages us to follow in their same footsteps and to experience the joy of those who trust in God, for the one true cause of sorrow and unhappiness for men and women is to live far from him. …Loving always entails an act of self-denial, "losing ourselves,” and it is precisely this that makes us happy. -Pope Benedict XVI, Feast of All Saints, Nov 1, 2006. Text
The "Scandal" an "Foolishness" of the Cross -The "scandal" and the "foolishness" of the cross are precisely in the fact that there, where there seems to be only failure, sorrow and defeat, precisely there, is all the power of the limitless love of God, because the cross is the expression of love...
For the Jews, the cross is "skandalon," that is, a trap or stumbling block: It seems to be an obstacle to the faith of the pious Israelite, who doesn't manage to find anything similar in sacred Scripture. Paul, with no small amount of courage, seems to say here that the stakes are very high: For the Jews, the cross contradicts the very essence of God, who has manifested himself with prodigious signs. Therefore, to accept the cross of Christ means to undergo a profound conversion in the way of relating with God. If for the Jews the reason to reject the cross is found in revelation, that is, in fidelity to the God of their fathers, for the Greeks, that is, the pagans, the criteria for judgment in opposing the cross is reason. For this latter group, in fact, the cross is blight, foolishness, literally insipience, that is, food lacking salt; therefore, more than an error, it is an insult to good sense. -Oct 29, 2008
The Cross is the critical point of faith
"We know from the Gospels that the Cross was the critical point of the faith of Simon Peter and of the other Apostles. It is clear and it could not be otherwise: they were men and thought according to men; they could not tolerate the idea of a crucified Messiah. Peter's conversion is fully achieved when he stops wanting to save Jesus and accepts to be saved by him. He gives up wanting to save Jesus from the Cross and allows Jesus' Cross to save him... The efficacy of our service to the Church, Bride of Christ, depends essentially on this, on our fidelity to the divine royalty of CRUCIFIED LOVE" -Homily, 11/21/2010.
The Cross is God's "yes" to mankind "The passion and Cross of Jesus cause fear, because they seem to be the negation of life. In reality, it is exactly the contrary! The Cross is God's "Yes" to mankind, the highest and the most intense expression of His love and the source from which flows eternal life" -2-2011, for world day of the sick.
Word of the Cross (Renewal of Baptism/ the gift must be always rekindled / thirst / The Cross of Christ) "it is love in its most extreme form". -lent 2011.
Take up his cross
"A Christian follows the Lord when he accepts lovingly his own cross, which in the world's eyes seems a defeat and a "loss of life", knowing that he is not carrying it alone but with Jesus, sharing his same journey of self-giving".-August 28 2011
True image of God
"In him who was crucified, the denial of false images of God is taken to an extreme. God now reveals his true face in the figure of the sufferer who shares man's God-forsaken condition by taking it upon himself" -Spe Salvi 43 -Text
"The same Peter who professed Jesus Christ, now says to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. That has nothing to do with it. I will follow you on other terms, but without the Cross. When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly: we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord".
My wish is that all of us, after these days of grace, will have the courage, yes, the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord’s Cross; to build the Church on the Lord’s blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward.
My prayer for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, will grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ crucified." -First homily -Full Text "Have courage, precisely the courage, to walk in the Lord’s presence, with the cross of the Lord; to build the Church upon the blood of the Lord, which was poured out on the cross; and to confess the only glory there is: Christ crucified. And in this way the Church will go forward." - Homily during the "Pro Ecclessia" Mass, March 15, 2013.
Fear of the Cross>>>
...not only Peter: Jesus Himself was afraid of the Cross! He could not fool Himself, He knew. So great was Jesus’ own fear that, on that Thursday evening He did sweat blood. So great was Jesus’ fear that He almost said the same as Peter – almost: ‘Father, take this chalice from me. Thy will be done!’ This was the difference." The Cross causes fear even in the work of evangelization. There is the "rule" according to which, "the disciple is not greater than the Master. There is the rule according to which there is no redemption without the effusion of blood," there is no fruitful apostolic work without the Cross.
Let us think deeply about the suffering of Jesus and let us say to ourselves: this is for my sake. Even if I had been the only person in the world, he would have done it. He did it for me. Let us kiss the crucifix and say: for my sake, thank you Jesus, for me. When all seems lost, when no one remains, for they will strike "the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered" (Mt 26:31), it is then that God intervenes with the power of his Resurrection." - >>>
"In the silence of the cross, the uproar of weapons ceases and the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue and peace is spoken." >>>
"The five wounds... Jesus wanted to take them to heaven to pray for us, to show the Father the price, as if to say: This is the price, do not leave them alone now, help them". ..."Jesus, pray for me, show the Father your wounds, which are also mine; they are the wounds of my sin, they are the wounds of my problem at this time". In this way Jesus is the "intercessor who only shows his wounds to the Father — this happens today, at this time". >>>
"Let us give thanks to God for the mystery of his crucified love" -Generala Audience 5-3-2014 >>>
"Whoever entrusts himself to Jesus crucified receives the mercy of God and finds healing from the deadly poison of sin" >>>
OTHERS on the Cross
No other way for a Christian who wants to be a saint..
Saint John Vianney: "Can the life of a good Christian be anything other than that of a man nailed to the Cross with Jesus Christ?"
Saint Rose of Lima: "Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven" more
St John Chrisostom. "The cross is the rampart of the saints" O.R. 13 Sat O.T."
St Benedicta of the Cross "Cross and night are the way to heavenly light: that is the joyful message of the cross."
Religion or hobby?
G.K. MacBrien: "If you are not willing to die for your God and your brothers, at a moment's notice or by a thousand cuts and sacrifices over many years, then you do not have a religion. You have a hobby."
Bear Jesus Crucified inside and out
Saint Paul of the Cross:
"Live in such a way that all may know that you bear outwardly as well as inwardly the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy." "Bury yourselves therefore in the heart of Jesus crucified, desiring nothing else but to lead all men to follow his will in all things."
Suffer with HIM unto Calvary
-Sister Lucia seer of Fatima:
"Arm yourself with the spirit of sacrifice and penance. Look on Jesus crowned with thorns for love of you, and when your headaches becomes as His were, you still cannot become discouraged, but should accompany Him to the heights of Calvary and die there with Him, nailed to the Cross. Only thus will you be able to attain the great end for which the Good Lord called you- the salvation of souls. And dont be alarmed. Our happiness lies in our union with God and with God crucified". - letter to a seminarian who suffered headaches, The Intimate Life of Sister Lucia, pg 218.
-St. Francis de Sales:
"The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. The cross he now sends you he has considered with his all-knowing eyes, understood with his divine mind, tested with his wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with his own hands to see that it is not one inch too large nor one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with his holy name, anointed it with his grace, perfumed it with his consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God."
Embrace the Crucified Jesus -St Catherine of Siena
"There is only one price at which souls are bought and that is suffering united to My suffering on the cross. Pure love understands these words; carnal love will never understand them." -Diary #325
Eyes always fixed on the Cross
The Mother of God told me to do what she had done, that even when joyful, I should keep my eyes fixed on the Cross, and she told me that the graces God was granting me were not for me alone but for other souls as well.
In difficult moments, I will fix my gaze upon the silent Heart of Jesus stretched on the Cross, and from the exploding flames of His merciful Heart, will flow down upon me power and strength to keep fighting.
"Suffering, or the Cross divinized by the Son, is the one and only ladder for reaching to the love of charity. Now do you understand the value of the Cross? Those who are most crucified are those who love the most, since suffering, the emblem of Jesus, draws to it the Three Divine Persons. We dwell in this soul and there I set up my dwelling" (Diary, July 9, 1895)
The Cross with Christ; Joy in heaven -Diary #446
Then I saw the Lord Jesus nailed to the cross. When He had hung on it for a while, I saw a multitude of souls crucified like Him. Then I saw a second multitude of souls, and a third. The second multitude were not nailed to [their] crosses, but were holding them firmly in their hands. The third were neither nailed to [their] crosses nor holding them firmly in their hands, but were dragging [their] crosses behind them and were discontent. Jesus then said to me, "Do you see these souls? Those who are like Me in the pain and contempt they suffer will be like Me also in glory. And those who resemble Me less in [suffering] pain and contempt will also bear less resemblance to Me in glory".
Uniting with Love Crucified on the Cross -Diary #923
Today the Lord said to me:
I demand of you a perfect and whole-burnt offering; an offering of the will. No other sacrifice can compare with this one.
I Myself am directing your life and arranging things in such a way that you will be for Me a continual sacrifice and will always do My will. And for the accomplishment of this offering, you will unite yourself with Me on the Cross. I know what you can do.
I myself will give you many orders directly, but I will delay the possibility of their being carried out and make it depend on others. But what the superiors will not manage to do, I Myself will accomplish directly in your soul. And in the most hidden depths of your soul, a perfect holocaust will be carried out, not just for a while, but know, My daughter, that this offering will last until your death.
But there is time, so that I the Lord will fulfill all your wishes. I delight in you as a living host; let nothing terrify you; I am with you.
Today, during Mass, I saw the Lord Jesus in the midst of His sufferings, as though dying on the Cross. He said to me:
"My daughter, meditate frequently on the sufferings which I have undergone for your sake, and then nothing of what you suffer for Me will seem great to you. You please Me most when you mediate on My sorrowful Passion. Join your little sufferings to My sorrowful Passion, so that they may have infinite value before My Majesty."
Jesus said to me today:
"You often call Me your Master. This is pleasing to My Heart; but do not forget, My disciple, that you are a disciple of a crucified Master. Let that one word be enough for you. You know what is contained in the Cross."
The Cross exemplifies every virtue
From a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Why did the Son of God have to suffer for us? There was a great need, and it can be considered in a twofold way: in the first place, as a remedy for sin, and secondly, as an example of how to act.
It is a remedy, for, in the face of all the evils which we incur on account of our sins, we have found relief through the passion of Christ. Yet, it is no less an example, for the passion of Christ completely suffices to fashion our lives. Whoever wishes to live perfectly should do nothing but disdain what Christ disdained on the cross and desire what he desired, for the cross exemplifies every virtue.
If you seek the example of love: Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends. Such a man was Christ on the cross. And if he gave his life for us, then it should not be difficult to bear whatever hardships arise for his sake.
If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth. Therefore Christ’s patience on the cross was great. In patience let us run for the prize set before us, looking upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy set before him, bore his cross and despised the shame.
If you seek an example of humility, look upon the crucified one, for God wished to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to die.
If you seek an example of obedience, follow him who became obedient to the Father even unto death. For just as by the disobedience of one man, namely, Adam, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man, many were made righteous.
If you seek an example of despising earthly things, follow him who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Upon the cross he was stripped, mocked, spat upon, struck, crowned with thorns, and given only vinegar and gall to drink.
Do not be attached, therefore, to clothing and riches, because they divided my garments among themselves. Nor to honours, for he experienced harsh words and scourgings. Nor to greatness of rank, for weaving a crown of thorns they placed it on my head. Nor to anything delightful, for in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Suffering for love
See also the Saints, Cross, Victim Love
Suffering and sin
God is not the cause of suffering. It is the result of sin, not only from our personal sins but those of humanity. We are one body. Jesus never sinned but suffered much.
Suffering comes to all.
Sometimes God heals. Other times He allows us to share in His suffering. Some offer themselves as victims of love. Others are recruited by the Lord, as Simon the Cyrene. Only later are they able to appreciate the blessings that came through their sharing the Cross of Christ.
Christ suffered for ALL
Cathechism of the Catholic Church:
"There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer". #605.
Christ aks us to suffer with HIM to complete His sufferings
Christ's suffering in His person is completed, but His suffering continues in His Mystical Body, which is each of us lives. St. Paul wrote from prison: Col 1:24 "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's sufferings for the sake of his body, that is, the church."
Cathechism: "The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the "one mediator between God and men". But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, "the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery" is offered to all men. He calls his disciples to "take up [their] cross and follow [him]", for "Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps." In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries. This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering. #618
"To suffer in God’s way means changing for the better and leaves no regrets, but to suffer as the world knows suffering brings death" -2 Cor 7:10
Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example
1 Peter 2:20-25
"Beloved: If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls."
St. Paul is a "witness to the sufferings of Christ" because he lived them himself >>>
2 Cor. 12:9-10
"I willingly boast of my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I am content with weakness, with mistreatment, with distress, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ; for when I am powerless, it is then that I am strong."
Suffering and Consolation (love)
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer".
Take notice of what St Paul teaches above:
1-Christ suffers and comforts Paul
-To receive it, Paul must share Christ's suffering.
-Thus Paul becomes one with Christ
2-Paul can now suffer to comfort the Corinthians.
-To receive it, the Corinthians must share Paul's suffering.
-Thus Corinthians can become one with Paul and Christ.
This is how the Body of Chist is built. It is a chain of suffering and comfort (love). One cannot link in the chaiin without accepting both.
There is joy in suffering when we unite it to Christ. The more one loves, the more one suffers for others. But this suffering brings joy. James 1:2-4 "My brothers, count it pure joy when you are involved in every sort of trial. Realize that when your faith is tested this makes for endurance. Let endurance come to its perfection so that you may be fully mature and lacking in nothing."
1 Peter 1:6-7
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 4:12-17
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrongdoer, or a mischief- maker; 16 yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God.
Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI).
"True Joy cannot be extinguished by suffering because it is the presence of God."Only the joy that stands the test of pain and is stronger than afflictions is authentic."
Suffer With "Compassion... is not about silencing pain, it is about the logic of love, of suffering with. A logic, a way of thinking and feeling, which is not grounded in fear but in the freedom born of love and of desire to put the good of others before all else." Pope Francis, 9 july, 2015. >>>
Suffer With / Closeness / Touch
God permits sufferings to protects us from worse
"There are times when He Himself allows terrible sufferings, and then again there are times when He does not let me suffer and removes everything that might afflict my soul. These are His ways , unfathomable and incomprehensible to us. It is for us to submit ourselves completely to His holy will. There are mysteries that the human mind will never fathom here on earth; eternity will reveal them". -St Faustina, Diary #1656
Satan uses our fear of suffering to control us and keep us from loving.
But love casts away fear. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit was able to overcome his fear.
Peter, thinking as men do, rejected Jesus' announcement of His suffering.
"And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’"
|Popes on Suffering|
St. John Paul II, Salvici Doloris
On the meaning and power of suffering with Christ
Suffering itself, is a Gospel preached by Christ, a Gospel witnessed to and shared by Christians, preeminently the Blessed Mother. Our Lord spoke frequently of the need for suffering and foretold that His followers would be persecuted. Persecution is the "first chapter of the Gospel of suffering" (SD, 25); the next chapter "is written by all those who suffer together with Christ, uniting their human sufferings to His salvific suffering" (SD, 26). The lives of the saints show that suffering is "a special grace" because it "draws a person interiorly close to Christ. . . . When this body is gravely ill, totally incapacitated, and the person is almost incapable of living and acting, all the more do interior maturity and spiritual greatness become evident" (ibid.).
How is this maturity brought about? "To the suffering brother or sister," the Holy Father writes, "Christ discloses and gradually reveals the horizons of the kingdom of God: the horizons of a world converted to the Creator, of a world free from sin, a world being built on the saving power of love. And slowly but effectively, Christ leads into . . . this kingdom of the Father, suffering man, in a certain sense through the very heart of His suffering . . . through the heart of His holy Mother" (ibid.).
Why, then, does God permit suffering? St.John Paul II answers:
The answer which comes through this sharing, by way of the interior encounter with the Master, is in itself something more than the mere abstract answer to the question about the meaning of suffering. For it is above all a call. It is a vocation. Christ does not explain in the abstract the reasons for suffering, but before all else He says: "Follow me!" Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world, a salvation achieved through my suffering! Through my Cross. Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him. He does not discover this meaning at his own human level, but at the level of the suffering of Christ. At the same time, however, from this level of Christ the salvific meaning of suffering descends to man’s level and becomes, in a sense, the individual’s personal response. It is then that man finds in his suffering interior peace and even spiritual joy (ibid.).
"We ask all you who suffer to support us. We ask precisely you, who are weak, to become a source of strength for the Church and for humanity" St. John Paul II, ibidBenedict XVI, comments on Salvici Doloris
Christianity proclaims joy to us, indeed; this joy, however, only develops on the path of love, and this path of love has to do with the Cross, with communion with the Crucified Christ.
"The truth of love is, in a certain way, demonstrated through the truth of suffering, and the Church, born from the mystery of Redemption in the Cross of Christ, "has to try to meet man in a special way on the path of his suffering. -Benedict XVI full text -Benedict XVIPius XII -Offer him your sufferings according to all the intentions for which he continually offers himself on the altars of our churches. Your sacrifice, united to the sacrifice of Jesus, will bring many sinners back to the Father; many without faith will find the true faith; many weak Christians will receive the strength to live fully the teaching and the law of Christ."
Sickness is a sign of the action of the devil
-Jesus' suffering and Mary's sweetness
-Ecumenism of Suffering
The Lord Speaks to Love Crucified about suffering
Love moves us to suffer for the beloved
"Be willing to see through My eyes in the hearts of many their pain, suffering, darkness, blindness, oppression.... and suffer in the agony of My Heart and Mary's. To see through My eyes is to suffer because I love and Am Love. To suffer with is to love with. You enter My Sacred Heart through My suffering and you touch My love in My suffering. (1/17/12)"Why do I desire and need for you to suffer with Me? It is through My suffering that you come to know Love. Love is purified in suffering, but My suffering is pure love, therefore, when you suffer with Me your love is purified in Me. This suffering with Me and loving with Me brings new life, a new creation. Allow all suffering to draw you into My sufferings and sorrows and in this way you will come to know Love. My Sacred Heart is pure love. You were created for Love, but how few, My little one, come to know Love and enter the joy of living in Love. Satan and the principalities of darkness have been conquered by My crucified love. The triumph of My Cross, which is the triumph of Love, will come to fullness through My martyrs of love. This is your mission: to raise up many martyrs of love for the decisive battle at hand. .. (8/27/11)
It is My souls that willingly see their misery revealed to them by My Spirit with cries and tears of sorrow that touch the Heart of Abba, Father and He quickly comes to embrace them with His forgiveness through My crucified love. (12/12/11)
DESOLATION: In desolation is when your life has the greatest power and is most fecund. In My desolation on the Cross My life shown most brilliantly the love of God the Father. My desolation made My faith in My Father radiate its perfection. Through My desolation I gave birth to My Church and all Her sacraments. Through My desolation I gave birth to all My sons, My priests. Through My desolation the Holy Spirit expanded the maternal Heart of My Mother to embrace all of humanity. It is in your times of desolation that the Holy Spirit and My Mother wish to unite you more intimately to Me. It is in your times of desolation that you are given the opportunity and grace to suffer with Me. It is through your desolation that you can come to know the pain, suffering and love of My Heart. It is through your desolation united to Mine that your life will also be most fecund. My desolation was so important for the salvation of the world that the Father willed for My Mother to continue suffering My desolation on earth. Her suffering of solitude was her continuation of My desolation and it produced and continues to produce a shower of graces for the world. I desire for the souls that love Me to live their times of desolation united to Me and completely abandoned to the Holy Spirit. In this way, My hidden force will acquire the power of God to overcome the darkness in the world. My Cross is not My Cross without the power of desolations lived with perfect faith. (3/2/11)
FAITH: Your faith is perfected in suffering and trials. Perfect faith is complete abandonment to My Father's will in all things through your union in Me. Therefore, your growth in faith is dependent on the abandonment of your will to Me and also on your knowledge of My perfect love for you. The shedding of layers of attachments to your will, which is self-love, takes place as you begin to trust in My love for you. This is why suffering all your sorrows with Me is so beneficial for your soul, because in that process you touch the open wounds of My love for you. This perfects a soul quickly in abandonment and trust until you come to experience all, the good and what you perceive as bad, as a gift of My love for you. The gift of knowing with your mind, heart and soul that the love of God only desires to make of you the new creation you were created to be from the beginning of time, a creation in the image and likeness of God as holy sons and daughters of the Most High. This is why I came upon the earth, to set you free from the bondage of sin and to make of you a new creation and draw you into the ONENESS of the Most Holy Trinity to experience holy bliss for all eternity. What greater love is there than this? (12/14/11)
Receive the wounds that cost Me My most painful suffering – humiliations, rejection and ingratitude. My most sensitive Heart continues to suffer these wounds. The greatest gift to mankind, THE CROSS, is rejected by almost all. You (LC), are the remnant that have received My Gift. It is only through this gift that they are set free from the chains that bind them. It is only through this gift that they enter perfect union with Me. It is only through this gift that they find JOY… Receive My wounds and give Me rest…(1/5/11)
VICTIM SOUL Therefore, becoming a victim of love is a spiritual process of growing and entering a deep intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself, a relationship that moves us into spiritual marriage with the Bridegroom. It is this passionate love affair that moves us to desire to love Him as He has loved us, the love of the unblemished Lamb that lays down His life for His Bride, us, the Church. (4/14/11)
Dig Deep in Christ Through the Thicket of Suffering -St. John of the Cross
Suffering and humility -St. Therese of Lisieux
Significance of suffering -Jeff Mirus at Catholic Culture
Suffering and Grace 5th anniv. Ben. XVI election, Bishop Slattery
St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross
Unlike sciences learned in the university, the science of the Cross "can be gained only when one comes to feel the Cross radically". Doctrine and life simply must be joined for the student who wishes to become learned in the mystery of the Cross.
She ponders the reasons why St. John of the Cross desires suffering and concludes that he was not merely motivated by a desire to remember or resemble the suffering Christ but by the desire to suffer with Christ for the sake of the world, thus participating actively in its redemption. "Do you want to be totally united to the Crucified? If you are serious about this, you will be present, by the power of the Cross, at every front, at every place of sorrow, bringing to those who suffer comfort, healing, and salvation"
Full text: The contemplative vocation
The science of the cross cannot be acquired except by truly suffering the weight of the cross -St Benedicta of the Cross.
Coming to the God that slays and gives life
"(The Israelites after crossing the sea) accepted as bridegroom a God with whom it was difficult to live, because Yahweh is not a God you would choose; he is a God who chooses you. Man would never choose to submit himself to such a hand, that slays in order to bring to life, if this hand had not been first stretched out to him as the hand of a savior, as the hand of the last resort reaching out when there is nothing but death ahead, the hand that drives back the waves of death and makes a despairing rabble into a people. For those who who set foot on the other side of the sea were no longer the same." - Dominique Barthelemy, God and His Image, Pg 67. Their response was to praise God: Canticle of the sea. Ex 15: "Who is like you, Oh Yahweh, among the gods? Who is like you majestic in holiness, terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders?"
St. Faustina, The price of souls
"True love is measured by the thermometer of suffering. Jesus, I thank You for the little daily crosses" #342.
"There is only one price at which souls are bought and that is suffering united to My suffering on the cross. Pure love understands these words; carnal love will never understand them. -Diary 324
Those who are like me in pain
"Then I saw the Lord Jesus nailed to the Cross. When He had hung on it for a while, I saw a multitude of souls crucified like Him. Then I saw a second multitude of souls, and a third. The second multitude were not nailed to (their) crosses, but were holding them firmly in their hands. The third were neither nailed to (their) crosses nor holding them firmly in their hands, but were dragging (their) crosses behind them and were discontent. Jesus then said to me, "Do you see these souls? Those who are like Me in the pain and contempt they suffer will be like Me also in glory. And those who resemble Me less in pain and contempt will also bear less resemblance to Me in glory. -Diary # 446
More on St Faustina and suffering
Divine love does not exist without suffering
I must die to myself continually and accept trials without complaining. I work, I suffer and I love with no other witness than His heart. Anyone who is not prepared to suffer all for the Beloved and to do his will in all things is not worthy of the sweet name of Friend, for here below, Love without suffering does not exist. It is in loving the cross that one discovers His heart, for divine Love does not exist without suffering."
- The love of suffering is the love of Jesus, solid and authentic.
May no one deprive me of this quite hidden treasure, one which is mine….
Yes, I want to hide my pain. It is now the treasure which unites me with this other treasure:
My Jesus, I am ready to drink my chalice down to the last drop …
Yes Lord, solely for covering You with glory, no matter how wretched I am"
(Conchita’s Diary, May 2, 1894).
- -Suffer with; reparation
St John M. Vianney
As we are all created for God, and are unceasingly the recipients of His boundless mercy, we must prove our gratitude to Him, and be sorrowful when we observe how much He is subject to insults. We should behave like a friend who regrets the misfortune of a friend: this is a proof of sincere friendship. Whatever service a friend may render you, he can never do what Christ has done for us. Every good Christian must be grieved at the contempt which is so often shown Him, and must strive to make reparation to Him; and those Christians who have the good fortune of belonging to societies having for their object the adoration of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, they are in an especial manner bound to do this. I say those "who have the good fortune," for can there be a greater happiness than to undertake reparation to Jesus Christ for the insults which are offered to Him in the Sacrament of His love?
S. Ambrose -Co-heirs of God / glorified with Christ / suffer with Him
We are heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ. A co-heir of Christ is one who is glorified along with Christ. The one who is glorified along with him is one who, by suffering for him, suffers along with him. S.Ambrose >>>
St Gregory Nazianzen "We must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified". -OR, Sat V Lent
Enter into His Suffering -Tessie Villaraus