Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thou hadst shown Thy Power by means of Thy Suffering (Blessed Cardinal Newman)

O my God, who could have imagined by any light of nature, that it was one of Thy attributes to lower Thyself and to work out Thy purposes by Thine own humiliation and suffering?  Thou hadst lived from eternity in ineffable blessedness.  My God, I might have understood as much as this, viz., that when Thou didst begin to create and surround Thyself with a world of creatures, that these attributes would show themselves in Thee which before had no exercise.  Thou couldest not show Thy power when there was nothing whatever to exercise it.  Then too, Thou didst begin to show Thy wonderful and tender providence, Thy faithfulness, Thy solicitous care for those whom Thou hadst created.  But who could have fancied that Thy creation of the universe implied and involved in it Thy humiliation?  O my great God, Thou hadst humbled Thyself, Thou hast stooped to take our flesh and blood, and hast been lifted up upon the tree!  I praise and glorify Thee tenfold the more, because Thou hadst shown Thy power by means of Thy suffering, than hadst Thou carried on Thy work without it.  It is worthy of Thine infinitude thus to surpass and transcend all our thoughts.  

O my Lord Jesu, I believe, and by Thy grace will ever believe and hold, and I know that it will be true to the end of the world, that nothing great is done without suffering, without humiliation, and that all things are possible by means of it.  I believe, my God, that poverty is better than riches, pain better than pleasure, obscurity and contempt than name, and ignominy and reproach than honor.  My Lord, I do not ask Thee to bring these trials upon me, for I know not if I could face them; but at least, O Lord, whether I be in prosperity or adversity, I will believe that it is as I have said.  I will never have faith in riches, rank, power or reputation.  I will never set my heart on worldly success or on worldly advantages.  I will never wish for what men call the prizes of life.  I will  ever, with Thy grace, make much more of those who are despised or neglected, honor the poor, revere the suffering, and admire and venerate Thy saints and confessors, and take my part with them in spite of the world.  

And lastly, O my dear Lord, though I am so very weak that I am not fit to ask Thee for suffering as a gift, and have not the strength to do so, at least I will beg of Thee the grace to meet suffering well, when Thou in They love and wisdom dost bring it upon me  Let me bear pain, reproach, disappointment, slander, anxiety, suspense, as Thou wouldst have me, O my Jesu, and as Thou by Thine own sufferings hast taught me, when it comes.  And I promise too, with Thy grace, that I will never set myself up, never seek pre-eminence, never court any great thing of this world, never prefer myself to others.  I wish to bear insult meekly, and to return good for evil.  I wish to humble myself in all things, and to be silent when I am ill-used, and to be patient when sorrow or pain is prolonged, and all for the love of Thee, and Thy Cross, knowing that in this way I shall gain the promise both of this life and of the next.    (Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.)