Greetings in Jesus and Mary…
You may think…oh no…another sad article. This is a bittersweet article. We are in the Easter season and we are a few days away from Mother’s Day which is not a feast in the Church but we usually choose this day to give Our Blessed Mother greater honor and even a Crowning! This article I felt was needed after the last article which expressed all the suffering we are enduring and about to endure in the world because of its crimes. This article is about the REDEMPTION OF JESUS CHRIST FOR ALL OF US! The fruits of the Easter season!! But it will be bittersweet because we cannot talk about Easter without the cross. There would be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.
The state of our world has brought Our Blessed Mother to tears. There are many apparitions and many statues in the past few decades where Our Lady is found weeping. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are breaking over the lack of love in the world. As Carmelites and as Catholics, we are called to unite our sufferings and our tears with that of Our Lady and offer all in reparation for sin. We, too, should be weeping!
In order to accept suffering, we need to have a true understanding of suffering. I have a book, “This War is the Passion” written by Caryll Houselander during the Second World War. You would think it is written for today because we are in a war….a different kind of war. She was very well known in her day and wrote a number of books. She had a special gift for writing about, and helping people with, psychological suffering. She herself, had a life of suffering but also a great grasp on the true meaning of it.
We should all have the basic understanding of the cause of suffering … that it is the result of Original Sin. This is where many modernists throw everything out the window because they do not believe in Original Sin or Adam and Eve…but I will save that for another article. Suffering and death entered the world as the result of, and punishment for sin. Caryll explains suffering as follows: “Suffering is the result of sin: poverty, pain, sickness, death and all the torments of the mind, all are the result of sin.”
“When Christ was born, the world was already full of suffering. He did not bring the cross into the world. It was there already. The cross was a dead weight, it was the result of sin and it punished sin, it offered no hope. Suffering was not a punishment planned, so to speak, by God. For God desires not the death of a sinner! GOD LOVED THE WORLD, BUT MAN HAD MADE FOR HIMSELF THE MISERY THAT WAS HIS PUNISHMENT.
When Christ became man, He uplifted man’s nature together with all its vital activities. He changed man’s suffering into His Passion. Man’s suffering became redemptive. By himself, no man can atone for sin, not all the united suffering of the world could atone for one small venial sin, because sin is against God and so only God can atone for sin. But because Christ is God and He has given His own life to be man’s life, man’s sorrow has become Christ’s sorrow and everything is reversed.
Now the cross, which was a dead weight, bears flower! The world’s tears, which were cold and sterile, are changed to strong life-giving wine, like the water of Cana. And now, one small suffering of the most insignificant human creature can atone for sin.
When Christ’s earthly life ended and He ascended into Heaven, He did not remove His life from man. He left Himself on earth, in the Sacred Host and in the heart of man. Man’s sorrows continue to atone for sin. All the suffering we see today, all the suffering we know in our own lives, is the Passion of Christ. If He had not changed our suffering to His Passion, we should still have suffered, but suffering would have been futile, destructive and useless. (“This War is the Passion, p. 156-157)
She also states…..”Suffering is the result of sin. It is not God who allows it. It is you and I. God did not give us our free will to sin with, but to love with. Loneliness, poverty, sickness, death, these things are not God’s will but against it. They are the things and all the other agonies of human nature that we consent to when we sin.
In her book, “The Mother of Christ”, she states….”But as we have brought suffering into the world, God does all He can, without taking away our free will and so taking away our humanity, to change suffering from something that bruises and destroys us into something that exalts and renews us.”
So therefore, ”man’s punishment is made by man but changed by Christ .. it is through Christ that suffering has become not an evil to be avoided at all costs, but a thing to be accepted willingly, even joyfully as a means in the Redemption of the world”. (This War is the Passion, p. 159)
We are called to unite our suffering with that of Jesus and Our Blessed Mother and bear it lovingly to help save souls. Throughout this chastisement we will have opportunities to share in the work of Redemption by suffering with love as part of the Mystical Body of Christ. “In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body” (Col. 1:24) To encourage us, the Beatitudes tell us that those who suffer, mourn or are persecuted will be blessed and comforted. Through our sins, we cause suffering; but Jesus has come to this earth in order to make that suffering fruitful through His cross which He calls us all to pick up daily in imitation of Him….and now our suffering united to His can bring Redemption to the world.
May we pray especially the Rosary and make voluntary sacrifices to decrease the suffering which will come to this world for its many crimes. Our Lady has asked for the five First Saturdays. May we begin them this Saturday or repeat them again for the graces that this world so desperately needs.
The Immaculate Heart is united to the Sacred Heart, let us ask Her to help us to suffer well!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
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Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!