Sunday, November 23, 2014

The communion of suffering of those who love

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The communion in suffering of those who love begets more love.  Mary is the exemplar of Spiritual Motherhood.  She carries her Son in her heart as He carries the Cross.  Mary, therefore, is the model of all spiritual mothers who gaze with compassion at those who suffer, especially those who pray for priests; it is Christ who suffers in the sons entrusted to their care.  Mary bears within her the suffering love of Christ and she brings that love to all who suffer that they might be strengthened and consoled.  However, she also brings that love to them in order that their suffering might be fruitful; that they might be other "Christs".

“The “Word was made flesh,” Mary's flesh. God had taken human nature, her human nature. The way of the Cross had begun. Already His face was set steadfastly toward Jerusalem. It was for this journey that she had fashioned those blameless feet from her own flesh and blood.

He goes on His way. He passes her by. This is something at the very heart of His suffering: that it must afflict her whom He loves; that because they both love, neither can spare the other. He goes on His way to do His Father’s will.

Suffering is the price of love. The hardest thing but the inevitable thing in the suffering of every individual is that he must inflict his own suffering on those who love him.
It is love that redeems, love that can heal the world, love that can save it. Suffering has no power in itself; it is only powerful to save when it is caused by love, and when it is the expression of love.

The Mother of Christ loved the world with His love. She gave Him to the world for the love of those whom He loved, those who would be born into the world generations hence, those among whom are you and I.

The cause of Christ’s suffering was His love for the world; the suffering He gave to His Mother was the gift of His own love. The increase of Christ’s own grief because He must afflict her was an increase of Christ-love in the whole world—the suffering which is a communion of love.

Compassion, the communion in suffering of those who love, is the suffering that redeems; it is Christ’s love in the world; it exists only because people love one another, and because it exists, it begets more love.

Christ goes on His way; no word is spoken now; Mary follows Him in the crowd. Another woman has anointed His feet for His burial; another will meet Him on the way and wipe the blood and dirt from His face; others will weep aloud for Him. Mary remains silent, she does not lift a hand; only when He is suffering no more will she anoint His body. She simply accepts this supreme gift of His love, His suffering given to her. It is a complete communion with Him. They are as completely one now as they were when He was the child in her womb, and her heart was the beating of His heart.”


Excerpt From: Caryll Houselander. “Way of the Cross.”