Excerpts from THE FRUITS OF HIS LOVE
Mother M. Angelica
The Value Of Suffering

Suffering in any form was, from the beginning of time, a mystery, and a blot on the human race. It was feared, dreaded, and shunned—a sign of contradiction and a curse. Jesus came as man and, because He accepted the consequences of our fall and suffered as we all suffer, He elevated suffering, transformed it, gave it power, and considers the pain of each member of the human race His pain. So much so that when I alleviate the pain of my brother, or am compassionate with his life, Jesus considers this done to Him.

There was suffering, pain, hunger and thirst, before Redemption, and there is still suffering, pain, hunger and thirst after Redemption. Redemption gave me more than an exemption from pain: it gave me Jesus, grace, the Spirit, love, peace and joy. It raises me above pain.

God does not will that I suffer, just as He did not will that Adam and Eve sin. But since they sinned and I inherit the weaknesses that are a result of that sin, I do and always will have something to endure.

Christ's Redemption merited for me a participation in His Divine Nature as God through grace, and a participation in His sufferings as Man, through the Cross.

He came down from glory to my suffering level that I might rise from my misery to His Glory. But to do this I must take upon myself the whole Christ—suffering and resurrected.

He took upon Himself my sins that I might sin no more.

He took upon Himself my weaknesses that I might have grace to overcome.

He took upon Himself my pain that I might hold His Hand in mine.

He took upon Himself my humiliation that I might be raised to His Throne.

He took upon Himself ridicule and insult that I might stand tall in persecution.

He took upon Himself the loss of His friends in His hour of need that I might never be alone in the hour of my need.

and then

He stood alone, abandoned by God and man, so that I need never feel desolate or rejected.

Now it is our cross—His and mine.

Now there is a reason behind each tear, each pain, each heartache.

Now the cross is no longer in the mud of despair—it is raised on high and on it is God's own Son.

Now it is no longer a sign of His vengeance but a sign of His love.

Now it no longer destroys but molds and renews.

Now it no longer oppresses my spirit but empties it so that it may be filled with God.

for

Each heartache empties my soul of me and fills it with Him.

Each tear washes my soul and makes it more beautiful to His Eyes.

Each disappointment strengthens my will to cling to Him alone.

Each anxious day makes me look to Him for support.

Each tension-filled hour makes me reach out to find serenity in His grasp.

Each pain is added to His on the Cross to redeem the world.

Each doubt makes me search for Truth and hold it fast.

Each separation gives me an awareness of the one thing necessary.

Each time my love is spurned I know how He feels when I ignore Him.

Each time I am treated unjustly, I know His feelings when He was called a devil.

Each time pride, jealousy, or ambition rears its head I see His Crown of Thorns.


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