Friday, April 17, 2015

As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so also by Christ does our comfort abound


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

How is it that you, not only as women of faith, but as those dedicated to live your lives in a spirit of reparation, understand prayer?  With what spirit do you bring yourself to Christ?  Blessed Marmion reminds us that "the disciple is not above his master".  We come to Him suffering and weary but we are not delivered from the cross.  Yet, it is in coming to the Beloved that we are comforted.  It is this very turning to Him in prayer that becomes the balm that soothes our pain.  We must receive His words as infallible: "Come to Me, all you that labor, and our burdened and I will refresh you."  "It is from Him all true consolation is born for our souls."

When we suffer, when we are in pain, in sadness, in weariness, in adversity or difficulties, and we come to Jesus we are not delivered from our cross, for “the disciple is not above his master,” but we are comforted. Christ Himself has told us that He wills us to take up our cross; it is the indispensable condition for becoming His true disciple—but He promises too that He will refresh those who come to find in Him a balm for their sufferings. And He Himself invites us: “Come to Me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” His words are infallible. If you go to Him with confidence, be assured He will turn tenderly towards you because, according to the words the Gospel applied to Him, He will be touched with compassion: Misericordia motus. Was He not crushed under suffering to the point of crying out: “Father, let this chalice of bitterness pass from Me”? St. Paul expressly tells us that one of the reasons Christ wished to endure sorrow was that He might succour those who would come to Him. He is the Good Samaritan Who bends over suffering humanity and brings to it, with salvation, the consolation of the Spirit of Love. It is from Him all true consolation is born for our souls. St. Paul repeats to us: “As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so also by Christ doth our comfort abound.” You see how he identifies his tribulations with those of Jesus, since he is a member of Christ’s mystical body, and how also it is from Christ he receives consolation.

Blessed Columba Marmion