Saturday, August 09, 2008

Meditation for August 10, The Flames of My Funeral Pyre

It is said that St. Lawrence, while upon the gridiron, finding him­self sufficiently burned on one side of his poor body, asked his tormentors to turn him on the other side.

Heroic courage of the saints!

And I, as soon as suffering wounds me, not only neglect to offer another part of myself for the sacrifice, but I even seek to avoid it; this is quite natural, too, because suffering, whether of body or soul, repels the deepest instincts of my being.

Could I not be braver, however, in the trifling occasions for re­nunciation that come to me?

Here and now, it is not a question of a martyrdom to be endured, of a gridiron as for St. Lawrence, nor of a pyre as for St. Jeanne of Arc. We are not speaking of heroism, but of ordinary courage, of drab sacrifice. What are my little sufferings in the last analysis? Rather insignificant miseries, a little dryness at prayer, a difficulty with one of my associates, a lack of success, trials regarding my health, a charge which oppresses, and approaching old age. I ought to know how to bear these troubles joyfully. "What is it all?" said P. Foch, "when I shall think of it, when I shall contemplate it, from the heights, in the tenth century of my eternity?"

"You see, O my God, how much I recoil from suffering, despite the long time I have been a religious. Sustain me. Be to me as the Cyre­nean in my feeble attempts at carrying the cross. It ought to be just the contrary; it should be I who help You. We shall make an agreement of mutual aid. I will try to do it for You another time, but, I beg of You, Help me! Help me!"
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

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