“Souls, do not be afraid of God, but trust in Him, for He is good, and His mercy is everlasting.”

(from “The School of Jesus Crucified” by Father Ignatius of the Side of Jesus)

Amid His bitterest sufferings and most excessive humiliations, Jesus never once opens His mouth to complain. A frightful crown of thorns pierces His head on every side, and causes Him the acutest pain, yet He makes not the slightest complaint of the cruelty of His enemies.

What do you say to this example of divine and superhuman patience, O you who are ever seeking after worldly pleasures and sensual gratifications, and who cannot endure even the slight thorn of some small inconvenience or trifling pain? You ought indeed to feel ashamed of living in luxury, when you behold your King, your Creator, and your God crowned with sorrow and ignominy.

Do you calculate upon entering Heaven crowned with the roses of pleasure instead of the thorns of mortification, suffering, and penance? Deceptive hope! Jesus Christ behold Himself abandoned by all—in the power of His cruel enemies, outraged, defiled with spittle, buffeted, and smitten, yet He maintains peace of soul, and calmness of demeanor, and makes not the slightest gesture of anger or impatience.

And you, wretched worm of the earth, unworthy sinner—you have not yet learned to submit in peace and silence to an insult, injury, or wrong done you by your neighbors! Is it possible that the sight of a God thus loaded with ignominy and suffering, and yet so patient and so humble, should not be sufficient to teach you patience and humility? If you do not imitate the example of Jesus Christ, you will not partake of His glory.

The Fruit

On all those occasions when it is your lot to suffer some inconvenience, annoyance, or illness, or any mortification of your senses and inclinations, imagine that Jesus offers you one of His thorns, and willingly accept and submit to it for love of Him. In time of temptation, and when assailed by evil thoughts, remember Jesus crowned with thorns, cast your eyes mentally upon His pierced head, and resolve that you will never renew His sufferings.

Example

A soul that loves Christ Crucified is ingenious in discovering ways of suffering in imitation of Him. When the blessed Paul of the Cross was walking without shoes or stockings through wild and stony paths, sharp thorns would often enter his feet, and he would allow them to run in deeply, being well satisfied to suffer acute pain for the love of His Crucified Lord.

Sometimes one of his companions would perceive what had happened, and, being anxious to relieve his pain, would express sorrow for it, and offer to extract the thorn. But then the servant of God would answer that what he suffered was nothing, since Jesus his Redeemer had permitted so many sharp thorns to transfix His most sacred Head.

“Souls, do not be afraid of God, but trust in Him, for He is good, and His mercy is everlasting.”

From a letter by Saint Paul of the Cross to Francis Appiani, on February 19, 1737:

Now the devil is arming himself against you with greater rage. Oh, how many fears. Oh, how much sorrows for your parents he causes you! Oh, how many traps he will lay! What tricks! You must spurn them all. He who will overcome these difficulties and the other assaults of the enemy will be seated forever at the table of the great King of Heaven.

Arm yourself, therefore, dear one, with great trust in God. Be faithful to prayer and often feed on the divine sacramental Lamb. It may be that God will try your fidelity by permitting desolation, melancholy, and other anguish, which are the jewels God gives His dear ones.

Take heart, dear one, take heart; Jesus awaits you, Mary invites you, all in paradise encourage you and tell of the throne and the royal crown already prepared for you. You will be rewarded by His Sovereign Good for having abandoned this little bit of earth.

From the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (#908):

O Jesus, how sorry I feel for poor sinners. Jesus, grant them contrition and repentance. Remember Your own sorrowful Passion.

I know Your infinite mercy and cannot bear it that a soul that has cost You so much should perish. Jesus, give me the souls of sinners; let Your mercy rest upon them. Take everything away from me, but give me souls. I want to become a sacrificial host for sinners.

Let the shell of my body conceal my offering, for Your Most Sacred Heart is also hidden in a Host, and certainly You are a living sacrifice. Transform me into Yourself, O Jesus, that I may be a living sacrifice and pleasing to You. I desire to atone at each moment for poor sinners.

The sacrifice of my spirit is hidden under the veil of my body; the human eye does not perceive it, and for that reason it is pure and pleasing to You. O my Creator and Father of great mercy, I trust in You, for You are Goodness Itself.

Souls, do not be afraid of God, but trust in Him, for He is good, and His mercy is everlasting.

consecratedhearts

A child of Jesus and Mary.

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