THE SCHOOL OF SUFFERING
"Even now I find my joy if the suffering I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the suffering of Christ for the sake of his body, the Church." — Colossians 1:24
Before we become committed to the Lord, we naturally choose to live a life of maximum pleasure and minimum pain. Because true love often entails pain, the life of maximum pleasure and minimum pain amounts to a life of maximum selfishness and minimum love.
If we repent, choose love, and totally commit our lives to the Lord, we choose a life of maximum love — no matter what the pain. In effect, we choose to take up the cross daily and follow Jesus (Lk 9:23). We choose to suffer redemptively in the pattern of Jesus' death (Phil 3:10).
As we grow in holiness, we not only accept suffering in Jesus but rejoice in it (Col 1:24; see also 1 Pt 4:13). We rejoice to suffer with Christ because we love Christ and want to be like Him. Moreover, we rejoice to suffer in Christ because we love others and we want all to be saved (see 1 Tm 2:4). When we realize that "suffering, more than anything else...clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls" (The Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, Pope St. John Paul II, 27), we rejoice that the Lord's saving grace is being accepted through a sharing in Christ's suffering.
Are you committed to Jesus? Are you growing holier? To answer these questions, look at your attitude toward suffering in Christ.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to transform my attitude toward suffering.
Promise: "One thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it." —Lk 10:42
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus, Who freely chose to leave the glory of heaven to suffer on earth for our salvation.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2019 through July 31, 2019.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.