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The lover of Jesus must climb Calvary and suffer with Him August 19, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Our Lady, sadness.
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From The Imitation of Mary by Abbe’ Alexander de Rouville, Book III Chapter 1:

Mary says:

Jesus climbed Calvary. Come with me, my child, for He invites us to go up with Him; you may not desert Him. Our love for Jesus woudl surely not be worthy of Him if we deserted Him in His sufferings, in that moment when everyone denied and insulted Him.

It is true enough that we cannot help Him, but at least we can share His suffering and unite our tears to His Blood.  We can give Him the comfort of seeing that we are ready to suffer, for love of Him, anything He permits.

The believer answers:

Noble virgin, can we show Jesus true love only by following Him to Calvary and suffering with Him? Can we not also show our love in tranquility and peace?

Mary answers:

In tranquility and peace, my child, it is easy to give proof of that love; but it must also be proved in pain and tears.  Jesus said “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:27).

You must therefore regard any day as a happy one on which you have occasion to endure something for love of Him. Many Christians love the Divine Giver solely for His gifts: they are like earthly friends who never love except for a return.

They claim to love Jesus with all their hearts, yet they have not the courage to stay awake with Him for even an hour in the garden of His agony (Mt 26:40). 

They claim that they will follow Him even to death (Mt 25:35), but fear of suffering weakens love very quickly and they follow Him only at a distance (Lk 22:54).

My child, if you love Jesus, you  must love His cross, too, and if you love Him with all your heart, you must embrace with all your heart the crosses He sends you. Anyone who is not forced to carry Jesus’ cross, as Simon of Cyrene was, but gladly shares the bitter gall given to Him on Calvary, truly loves Jesus. For in fire gold is tested and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation (Sir 2:5)

Jesus lived amid tears; would you live amid delights?

The true Christian is a man like the patient Jesus, dying and dead on the cross. If Jesus seems to you to have deserved any of your love for having suffered on your behalf, why should you not love the suffering Jesus sends you so that he may also give you a share in His glory?

Did not the Messiah have to undergo all this so as to enter into His glory? (Lk 24:26). There was no other way for me, just as there was no other way for the Saints.

The believer answers:

Virgin Mother of God, you suffered so much pain, and you loved the pain because you loved Jesus. Intercede for me that I may overcome my weakness, my sensitivity, and the natural abhorrence I have for the cross. Let my heart, my mind, and all that is in me show that I love my God.

You were the holiest and the most afflicted of virgins. I want to share your sorrows, provided I can share your love. Teach me to love the cross of Jesus and to find my delight in it, so that at the moment of my death the crucified Jesus may be my strength and consolation.

Mary answers:

How can you trustingly embrace the crucifix at the moment of death, if you have in fact lived as an enemy of the cross of Christ (Phil 3:18)?  At the moment, far from lamenting that you have often been on the cross, you will wish you had always been there. My child, if you meet with insults, mistreatment, harsh persecution, misfortunes that seem insuperable, bear all with perservering patience.

If I see in you an image of Jesus, my love for you will be intensified, for you will then be a son less unworthy of your mother.

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A young priest at Mass recently discussed this phenomenon – people think that if they just sort of go along to get along, do what the culture is doing, just enjoy the comfort of modern life and don’t commit any huge sins but also live a rather unvirtuous life, they can expect salvation.  Even those who attend Mass weekly and go to Confession once or twice a year – they may have a confidence in their state of Grace and prospects for salvation that is misplaced.  If we have not conditioned ourselves to a deep love for God, doing all for God and striving to take on sufferings and mortifications in order to die to our self and “put on the new man” in Christ, when we are confronted with the perfection of beauty and grace and holiness and goodness that is God, we may seek to flee – we may not be prepared for that moment.  And there is only one place to escape to, as unthinkable as that may seem, many Saints attest to the fact that the souls fall into hell like so many snowflakes.  Thankfully, we have Purgatory, and while I do not relish the prospect of the painful transformation that must take place there, it is far better than the alternative.  But the ideal is to so grow in virtue, in self-denial and mortification, and in avoidance of sin, that when our individual judgment comes at our death, we will feel completely at home in God’s presence.  We – I, most especially! – must strive with all our migh to follow the example of the Saints and try to develop such a life with God that our death will seem perfectly natural and our souls will simply slip into Heaven as coming home from a long exile – it will be the most natural and desired thing we can imagine.

I am so very far from that.  I have so many miles to go – I have barely begun the journey, and often I turn back from the hard and rocky road and run back to the soft path of the world.  I pray I may respond to God’s Grace and remain on that narrow and difficult path, all the while carrying the great burden of the cross. I beg for the intercession of so many Saints to intercede for me, that I may be transformed into constantly accepting and acting on God’s Grace.  My Blessed Mother, please pray for me always!

Comments

1. Christian Jew - August 20, 2011

I believe The Lord Jesus Christ is God, The Son of God, and The Messiah; as clearly taught in The Bible. The stakes are too high to be wrong about this.


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