Sunday, March 28, 2010

As we enter Holy Week: fasting--and suffering

We are entering Holy Week. As we make ready for a final round of fasting, abstinence, prayer and self-denial, in preparation for Easter, here is a thought for you on the importance and value of suffering. It comes from one of the great 20th c. masters of spirituality, Fr. Jordan Aumann, OP:

While the desire for pleasure is a great obstacle to our eternal salvation, the horror of suffering is a great impediment to sanctification. Many souls who halt along the way to perfection do so because they have not dominated their dread of suffering. Only those who have determined to combat this tendency with an unswerving energy will arrive at the height of sanctity. This, says St. Teresa, is an absolutely indispensable condition for reaching perfection. Those who do not have the spirit for this can renounce sanctity, because they will never reach it. St. John of the Cross gives to the love of suffering an exceptional importance in the process of our sanctification, both to make amends for sins and for the sanctification of the soul.

It is time for each of us to take up our cross and follow Him.

1 comment:

  1. How profound! And difficult to face for the modern man/woman, in a culture that is oriented so much against suffering (as long as it involves me or my loved ones), or that turns away from it if it happens far away(war, famine, water shortages)... For many people in the West suffering has lost any telos. Thanks for putting it before our inner eyes again.