Friday, June 26, 2009

"Love Sacrifice, Love the Cross, Love Pain"

As today is the feast of St. Josemaria Escriva (the founder of Opus Dei), I've been looking for quotes from him to post on Facebook throughout the day as a way of exposing more people to his great writings (and ultimately, one hopes, to help bring them to a deeper relationship with Our Lord and His Church).

Here is one counsel of his I came across today for the first time:

Love sacrifice; it is a fountain of interior life. Love the Cross, which is an altar of sacrifice. Love pain, until you drink, as Christ did, the very dregs of the chalice.

This is one of those pieces of advice that illustrates with absolutely clarity why, in the midst of our world, really and truly following Our Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate alternative lifestyle—and, yea, the only one worth living.

As shocking as it sounds, we are indeed called to love pain, for in doing so we unite ourselves to Jesus.

Jesus loved; so too must we love if we want to be like Him. Jesus served; so too must we serve if we want to be like Him. Jesus suffered pain and humiliation; so too must we suffer pain and humiliation if we want to be like Him.

These words of St. Josemaria particularly struck me because I just recently finished reading The Soul of the Apostolate (which, btw, I highly recommend). Therein, the author, Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, lists nine "levels" of the interior life, ranging from "hardened in sin" to "complete sanctity". The latter, he says, have an "ardent thirst for sufferings and humiliations".

At this point in my life, I cannot say I have an ardent thirst for sufferings and humiliations. But, please God, some day I will.

And, please God, some day we all will.

[Cross-posted at Catholic Dads]

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