Posted by: fvbcdm | December 14, 2016

Feast of Saint John of the Cross (14 December 2016)

Today the Church celebrates Saint John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite priest, mystic, collaborator with Saint Teresa of Avila in the reform of the Carmelite Order, writer, and outstanding figure in the history of Spanish literature and the Catholic counter-reformation of the 16th century.

He was convinced of the value of suffering in the spiritual life, in imitation of our divine Lord in his sufferings and death on the cross.  He used to say, “A day without suffering is a day wasted.” I have thought of that a lot.  We tend to do what we want in our lives, both spiritual and temporal.  And since we don’t usually want to suffer, we avoid suffering whenever we can and do what we can to alleviate it in our lives and those of others.  So, since God is convinced of the value of suffering, he visits it upon us whether we want it or not, in the form that he chooses, and to the degree that he chooses. We might try to escape it or alleviate it, but often we cannot, and must simply accept it as did Our Lord who said to his Father, “If it be possible, let this cup (of suffering) pass from me, but not as I will, but as you will.”  And then, in the last moments of his life on the cross, he cried out, “Father, into your hands I commend my soul.”  Let us think of these things.  Let us try to see with the eyes of faith the value, the good, of our own sufferings and recognize that they are a gift of God, an opportunity for us to fulfill our vocation, our union with Our Lord Jesus Christ in life, suffering, death, and resurrection.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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