Thought for the Day – 23 January – The Memorial of Blessed Henry Suso OP (1295-1366)
“I desire from the boundless abyss of my heart that all the sufferings and grief that I have ever experienced and, in addition, the painful suffering of all hearts, the pains of all wounds, the groans of all the sick, the sighs of all sad people, the tears of all weeping eyes, the insults suffered by all those oppressed, the needs of all poor indigent widows and orphans, the dire wants of all the thirsty and hungry, the blood spilled by all martyrs, the breaking of their selfish wills by all the joyful and blossoming youth, the painful practices of all the friends of God and all the hidden and open suffering and sorrow that I or any other afflicted person ever experienced with regard to their bodies, possessions, reputation, friends and relatives, or depression, or whatever any man shall suffer up to the last day—I desire that all this may praise You eternally, heavenly Father and honour Your only-begotten suffering Son from eternity to eternity.
And I, Your poor servant, desire to be today, the devoted substitute for all suffering people, who do not know how to bear their suffering in patient and thankful praise of God, so that I might offer up to You in their place today, their sufferings, however they may have suffered. I offer it to You in their stead, just as if I myself alone had suffered it all, physically and in my heart as I desired. And I present it today in their place to Your only-begotten Son, that He may be praised by it forever and that those suffering, may be consoled, whether they are still in this vale of lamentation, or in the other world in your power.”
Bl. Henry Suso offers this prayer with “the arms of his soul somehow stretched forth to the far ends of the world in heaven and earth.” Our desires too can be extended in prayer to encompass all times and all peoples, especially all those people today who “do not know how to bear their suffering in patient and thankful praise of God,” that even these sufferings may both praise God and win grace and consolation for the afflicted.
Bl Henry Suso, pray for us,
that we may suffer well ourselves and bear in our hearts to God the sufferings of others!