Thoughts on the Patient Endurance of Sorrows and Sufferings
ACQUIRING CONFORMITY WITH JESUS CHRIST
For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps.
-1 Pet. ii. 21.
If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.
-2 Tim. ii. 12.
Because you are predestined by God to the glory of heaven, it is necessary that you should first be conformed to the image and likeness of J esus Christ.
In several of his epistles to the first Christians, St. Paul speaks of the necessity of conformity with Jesus Christ as a condition for obtaining the crown of eternal glory. He tells them that everyone who is predestined for heaven must first be transformed into the image and likeness of the Son of God. The heavenly Father will receive as His child him only in whom He can trace the lineaments of His eternal Son, and of whom He can testify as He testified of Him on Mount Tabor: "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."
But Jesus Christ was a man of sorrows. From the very first moment of His earthly life down to His last breath on the cross, He suffered incessantly both in His soul and in His body. His actual passion lasted only a few hours, it is true; but its anticipation, which included the clearest foreknowledge of its minutest details, accompanied Him all through life and never left Him without suffering, no, not for a single moment.... [continued tomorrow]
Compiled and Edited by Rev. F. X. Lasance
Author of "My Prayerbook," etc.
1937, Benziger Brothers
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See