Today as we continue reading from the Gospel of Matthew, one verse strikes me:”…but for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).
As I reflected on this little piece of today’s mass, my mind moved to suffering. By and large, we don’t think of the good things in life as impossible. They are many times easy in coming or easy to embrace, but the hard things…well that’s different. Those often require heroic strength and virtue to endure. In those times, we turn to God as the God of the impossible.
Over the past few days, I’ve been listening to a couple of CDs from Lighthouse Catholic Media . I listened to one today called, “The Passion of Christ Applied to Your Life.” It was a sermon delivered on a Good Friday teaching about the blessing of sharing in the suffering of Christ.
So today, I pass along wisdom of the Saint Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionist order, on suffering, and a prayer that those who suffer will know that the God of the impossible will turn their suffering into joy.
“When you are alone in your room, take your crucifix, kiss its five wounds reverently, tell it to preach to you a little sermon, and then listen to the words of eternal life that it speaks to your heart; listen to the pleading of the thorns, the nails, the precious Blood. Oh, what an eloquent sermon!”
“The more deeply the cross penetrates, the better; the more deprived of consolation that your suffering is, the purer it will be; the more creatures oppose us, the more closely shall we be united to God.”
“Believe me, afflictions, fears, desolations, dryness, abandonment, temptations, and other persecutions make an excellent broom, which sweeps from your soul all the dust of hidden imperfections.”
“I wish that all men could understand the great favor that God grants them when, in His goodness, He sends them suffering, and especially suffering devoid of all consolation; for then the soul, like gold which is purified in the fiery crucible, is cleansed, made beautiful, detached from earthly things, and united to the Sovereign Good, without even being conscious of it.”
“What an honor God confers on us, when He calls us to travel the same road as His divine Son!”
“Suffering is brief; joy will be eternal.”
May the God of the impossible comfort and console those who suffer. Lord, grant them the grace to yoke themselves to Jesus whose yoke is easy and burden light. Help them to unite their sufferings with the suffering of Jesus on the Cross so they may share in His resurrection.
Mary, mother of mercy, pray for us! Anne