Monday, March 23, 2015

sufferings serve to nourish love


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

If we are honest, most of us would have to say that we are afraid of suffering and find the notion of reparation repugnant.  This is why we must constantly have before our eyes the image of the Beloved.  Gradually, what repulsed us begins to nourish a deeper love for Christ.  We begin perhaps not to love the trials and sufferings but most certainly the hand of the One who lays them on our shoulders.

Let us not fear trials: we may pass through great difficulties, undergo serious contradictions, endure deep sufferings, but from the moment we begin to serve God through love, these difficulties, these contradictions and sufferings serve to nourish love. When we love God, we may still feel the cross; God even makes us feel it the more in the measure we advance, because the cross establishes in us a greater likeness to Christ; but we then love, if not the cross itself, at least the hand of Jesus Who lays it on our shoulders; for this hand gives us also the unction of grace wherewith to bear this burden; love is a powerful arm against temptations and an invincible strength in adversities.

Marmion, Blessed Columba