TO SUFFER IN STYLE
‘A child of God is frequently called on to suffer as there is nothing that can convince more than suffering for the truth and the power of religion for those who see it, when the pain is endured with Christian fortitude.’ said F. B. Meyer.
We all know that Fr. Claret is the most calumniated saint there has ever been. One is amazed to see the silence with which he bore all this slander. Suffering had been a constant part of his life and he learnt to endure it profitably. The character of a man is proven in how he confronts adversities and challenges. Claret suffered loneliness in those hostile moments with just the company of his good conscience. With Jesus in the chapel of his heart and in his silent presence, he defended himself from persecution. He teaches us that fortitude is rooted in a clear conscience before God.
Christian faith and martyrdom are almost inseparable. The follower of Jesus has to carry his cross daily (cf. Lk. 9:23). Despite technological advances we know that today the world is suffering more than ever. In a special way the poor and the marginalized suffer want and exploitation at the hands of the powerful. Jesus valiantly faced his sufferings for us on the cross and gained for us victory over all suffering. When a Christian suffers, he shares in the martyrial suffering of Jesus and with Him he comes out victorious. Christian happiness is pain converted into joy. (cf. Jn 16:20)
Claret offered himself to God as a victim on the altar of suffering, uniting himself with the patient Christ. When we bear suffering, we valiantly resist the evil that causes it and we weaken it. When we do it united with Jesus in the depth of our hearts it is transformed into salvific pain.
What is your attitude to suffering? The present generation seeks easy comfort, is lost in suffering. You and I, happy to be disciples of Christ, with our patience, we will turn pain around and find ourselves with the face of the Crucified.