Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop
Crypt where St. Charles Borromeo, the 16th century cardinal archbishop of Milan and great saint of the Counter-Reformation, lays in a crystal coffin.
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH Lk. 14: 25-33 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
Part 1: Carrying Our Cross by Fr. John Tauler, O.P.
Part 2: CARRYING OUR CROSS: OFFER IT UP—SANCTIFIED SACRIFICIAL SUFFERING! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Carrying Our Cross by Fr. John Tauler, O.P. (+1361)
A man must serve God not as he himself wills, but according to the blessed will of God, and this rule extends to everything, both of the outer and the inner life. When one has not God as his Interior Guest he goes onward with uncertain step, as the Scripture says: “Woe to him that is alone, for when he falls he has none to lift him.”
But if a man be on his guard, and if his soul is like a well-garrisoned fortress, then the enemy assaults him in vain. God is our soul’s garrison; keep Him with you securely, always realize His holy presence. When one thus possesses God, he stands in need of little else: any little provision of this world’s comfort suffices him; nor is he disturbed by contradictions in his labors or opposition from the men around him.
If God be felt within the soul, it makes more progress in virtue under external difficulties than when all is favorable. But, of course, nature feels this unpleasantly, and one stands his ground only with an effort; especially does he need constant recollection of spirit in God.
But you may ask: suppose a man fails in fidelity under the stress of adversity? Let him rise up again quickly, acknowledging his misery and nothingness before God, and renew his spirit of recollection – all this the sooner the better.
But do not dwell too long on your faults, discussing sadly how this happened or how that; such a practice is indiscreet. Have you been unequal to duty? Then how shall you be made equal to it but by secretly entering deep into God? How shall you better run away from death than by running into Life? Life Eternal and Essential. Is there any better way to be warmed than to come near the fire? Lay all your cares upon God, and He will arrange everything for the best. For your part, trust Him implicitly and in everything that concerns you. That done accept all the happenings of your life in peace of mind, and make the best of them.
But if a man will not trust God nor abandon himself to Him, if he insists on striving and straining and worrying, God often permits him to fall into deep misery and want. This is to show him how far he can go under self-guidance. But if a man sincerely turns all care over to God, then does God better manage his affairs than could all creatures together. END
CARRYING OUR CROSS: OFFER IT UP—SANCTIFIED SACRIFICIAL SUFFERING! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Whether we like it or not, suffering is our lot. We all inherited this from our first parents, Adam and Eve. Suffering can make us either better or bitter! It all depends upon one thing: learning to offer it up or failing to offer it up.
The only religion that really gives a positive value to the reality of human suffering is Catholicism. Suffering in and of itself is neither good nor bad; it is neutral! It all depends on what we do with the suffering that God allows to knock at our door.
WASTED SUFFERING. As a priest for more than 30 years, I have visited many hospitals in different countries and one of the saddest experiences is the fact that while we all suffer and of course, in hospitals most especially, so much of this suffering is simply wasted. Moaning and groaning, cursing and reviling, and worse yet, giving into despair is all too common issuing from the mouths and hearts of the sick and suffering. For many, the reality of suffering is the worst thing that can befall them. How sad! If they only knew the positive value of suffering! If they only knew!
SALVATION AND SUFFERING. God could have chosen many means by which the human person could have been saved as a result of the Original Sin. However, in His infinite wisdom and love, God chose to send into the world His only begotten Son, Jesus the Lord, born of the Virgin Mary. Teacher, Master, Healer, Wonderful Counselor, Friend, Lamb of God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Alpha and Omega, Bread of Life—all of these are titles given to describe the multifaceted richness of Jesus, the Son of the living God.
SAVIOR THROUGH SUFFERING. However, Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen hones in on the most important title that we can give to Jesus. This title expresses the essence and purpose of His coming and it is SAVIOR! How did He save us? It was essentially by means of His suffering, most specifically, what Jesus suffered for us in His Passion and death which occurred Holy Thursday night and Good Friday.
JESUS, THE MODEL OF SUFFERING. We must have models upon which to form our life-patterns. By far the best model we have is JESUS. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But with respect to suffering, He is our most sublime and splendid example. Even though innocent, even though sinless, even though the splendor of God the Father and the essence of perfection as the God-man, born of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Jesus chose the path of suffering as the means by which all of us can be saved. We often suffer due to our bad conduct, our personal sins. Not so with Jesus. He suffered being the innocent one, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus never complained, nor did He pursue a path by which He could escape suffering, run away from the cross, avoid His passion and death. On the contrary, Jesus submitted His will to the will of His Father in Heaven: Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; but not my will but your will be done. (Mt. 26:39)
SALVIFICI DOLORIS! On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering by Saint Pope John Paul II. He portrayed to the world a splendid example of the positive value of suffering. He did it by uniting his many sufferings to Jesus’ sufferings. He even left us his spiritual masterpiece SALVIFICI DOLORIS explaining the positive value of suffering when it is united to the sufferings of Jesus.
THE ESSENCE OF THE MESSAGE! The essence of his message on suffering is the following. All of humanity is destined to suffer in one way or another; this is inevitable! Believer or unbeliever, Christian or atheist, male or female, young or desperately old—there is one common-ground: the reality of suffering. The key is this: suffering that is not accepted leads to bitterness, resentment, anger, and even despair, or on the other hand, suffering is seen as a blessing. Yes, a blessing! Why a blessing? Jesus sanctified all of human existence. By being born into the human condition, Jesus sanctified humanity and all their actions, but under this all-important condition: all of our actions must be united to Jesus and His Mystical Body, the Church!
FORMS OF SUFFERING AND ITS VALUE. Suffering manifests itself in many ways. Physical suffering, for example, having to deal with an operation and its after-effects, this causes pain. The emotional upheaval of fears and anxieties about the future—another form of suffering. Sons or daughters who fail to live up to their potential and express no gratitude for all they have received—how dreadfully painful. Economic straits that seem to have no remedy, painful indeed. Spiritual suffering, such as dryness in prayer and long periods of desolation, as experienced by Saint John of the Cross and Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta—only God knows how much interior pain and suffering this state of soul can cause one! A key for us is to first identify our suffering and its various manifestations, then unite tour suffering to the sufferings of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Calvary. If done, then our suffering will have infinite value!
UNITING OUR SUFFERING TO JESUS’ SUFFERING ON CALVARY. The most efficacious and powerful way to derive fruit from our suffering and sanctify ourselves through suffering is to unite any form of suffering we have to Jesus’ suffering on Calvary. How you might ask! The response is through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Every time the Catholic priest celebrates Holy Mass, Calvary becomes present in a mystical but very real way. The fruits of Jesus’ death on Calvary are present at the moment of Consecration. Our most noble task is to come early before Holy Mass and deposit on the altar all of our life, but most especially our sufferings: moral, spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, social, etc. Then when the priest lifts up the Host and lifts up the Chalice to God the Father, at the same time the priest is offering to God the Father our sufferings. Even though they may appear to be insignificant in the eyes of the world, in the eyes of God your sufferings take on infinite value. Why? Because God the Father is looking at you and your sufferings through the Sacred Wounds of Jesus who died to save us all. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.
OUR LADY OF SORROWS AND OUR SUFFERINGS. One last but very important note: Our Lady and our sufferings. We are never alone when we suffer; Our Lady is very close to us, especially when we suffer most. As she stood at the foot of the cross during the bitter agony of Jesus—those last three hours of His most bitter Passion, so she desires to stay very close to us in our suffering and passion! For this reason, it is important that we remember her loving and maternal presence. She will be there to console us and remind each one of us to Offer It Up—meaning join our sufferings to the sufferings of Jesus on the cross! In this way our suffering becomes Salvific Suffering—meaning suffering that saves! Indeed, if we learn to Offer It Up then we can work with Our Lady and collaborate with Jesus in the redemption of the world. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA