Sunday, December 13, 2009

Patience - December 13

Thoughts on the Patient Endurance of Sorrows and Sufferings

[Continued from yesterday]

...And when the cross had been lifted up, suffering, for yet three hours, lingered in the silence of the darkness; for yet three hours - and then her mis­sion was at an end; and, as when a dark cloud breaks and the rains stream upon the earth, suffering, since that day, has fallen on men and women in every age and over all the world, and every drop has been full of the fragrance of the cross.

The passion of our Lord and Saviour, there­fore, is intended to unite our hearts to His in that easy and sweet worship which is founded upon compassion.

Mental prayer should often take the passion for its subject; we should follow with loving care each step of Him Who bore our sorrows, from the Supper even to Calvary.

There is nothing that happens in which the heart will not be directed, profited, and lifted up by connecting it with the passion. Especially will this be found true in the commonest of all the events of a life on earth - hardship, trouble, and sorrow. When these things come upon us, there is no solid comfort or support unless we leave self and creatures, and turn to God. To resist, to fret, to bewail ourselves, to give way to impatience, to seek consolation in sin or im­perfection, to indulge in murmuring or in dissi­pation of spirit - these things palliate trouble; but they leave it rooted in the soul. Only one thing plucks it out, and that is to turn with it to Christ. My Lord and my Master, we may say to Him, Thou didst suffer - and suffer far more than this. To Thee, suffering was familiar; Thou didst choose it for Thy lot and Thy in­heritance - and I, I dread it and refuse it!

By Thy loving acceptance of pain, give me the cour­age to accept all that I have to suffer! By Thy meekness, extinguish the natural disturbance of my breast against those who injure me! By Thy lifting up of Thy heart, teach me how to make use of physical pain! By Thy silence, help me to repress murmurs and complainings. By Thine ardent love of Thy heavenly Father, enable me to understand how affection may intensify my love of my Godl Acts like this, made perhaps with the crucifix in hand, will calm the resistance and the outcry of nature, and will diffuse a holy peace and a brave resignation throughout our faculties, as if Jesus laid His hand upon us, and caused virtue to go out from Him, and healed our imperfections with the balsam of His own sovereign being.

-Bishop Hedley.
Compiled and Edited by Rev. F. X. Lasance
Author of "My Prayerbook," etc.
1937, Benziger Brothers
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See

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