Thought for the Day – 10 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Fifth Day after Epiphany
The Apostolate of Suffering
In God’s plan, suffering has a special mission.
One might even call it a kind of apostolate.
Suffering reminds us continually, that we have not been made for this world but are on a journey towards eternity.
“Here we have no permanent city but we seek for the city that is to come” (Heb 13:14)
Suffering is a spur which lifts our gaze towards Heaven, our real home, in which we shall find a happiness, which will have no end.
It would be disastrous if there were no suffering in this world!
It is the salt which preserves from corruption, our poor, fallen nature, tainted by sin.
When everything is going well and the passing pleasures of this life hold us fascinated, it is too easy to set our hearts on things below and to forget God.
But, when our bodies are racked with pain and our minds are troubled and lonely, then an inward turmoil seems to detach us from this earth and causes us to raise our tear-filled eyes, towards Heaven. Purified and almost renovated, our hearts turn towards God, our one, true and supreme good.
This is why the Saints loved suffering. Not only did they accept it with complete resignation but, they desired and requested it from God.
“Either to suffer or to die,” was the please of St Therese of the Child Jesus.
St Mary Magdalene del Pazzi, even added: “To suffer and not to die.”
How well the Saints understood the mission which God has entrusted to suffering!
If it is accepted with faith, resignation and love, it can make us living images of Jesus, Who suffered beneath the weight of the Cross and died upon it, His Hands and Feet pierced with nails, His Head crowned with thorns, while He prayed for us and for all those who had crucified Him.