The sufferings of Christ and the Saints should encourage and inspire us

February 3, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 485
By Venerable Louis of Granada

If these examples do not move you, lift your eyes to the Cross and contemplate Him Who hangs there in torments for love of you.

“Think diligently,” says the Apostle, “upon Him that endured such opposition, that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds.” [Heb. xii. 3.]

It is a marvellous example in every respect. For if we consider His sufferings, none could be greater; if we consider the Victim, none could be more noble; if we consider the motive, it was the highest degree of love; for He Who was Innocence itself suffered and died to redeem us from our iniquities.

The heavens were filled with awe at the spectacle; the earth trembled; the rocks were rent; all nature was moved. Will man alone be insensible and refuse to imitate the example which God came on earth to give?

Shall we be so ungrateful, so slothful, so presumptuous as to wish to win Heaven by a life of luxurious ease when suffering and labor were the portion of God on earth and of all His followers?

Hear the words in which St. Paul describes the sufferings of those faithful servants of Christ, the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Confessors, the Virgins, and all the Saints:

“Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” Hebrews 11:36-38 (RSVCE)

If such were the lives of the Saints and of Him who was the Saint of saints, what reason have you to think that you can reach Heaven by the way of pleasure and amusement? If you would share their glory, you must participate in their labors. If you would reign with them in Heaven, you must suffer with them on earth.

May these considerations reanimate your courage, dear Christian, and stimulate you to follow, as far as your grace will enable you, such bright examples.

We cannot, therefore, better conclude this work than in the words of our Saviour: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” [St. Luke ix. 23.]

In this brief counsel you will find a summary of His divine doctrine, and the secret of attaining the perfection taught in the Gospel. Thus, while the body may be a prey to hardships and labors, the soul will enjoy a paradise of peace, and this interior sweetness will enable you cheerfully to embrace all the sufferings of the exterior life.

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