To Love Is To Suffer

"But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." (1 Peter 4: 13)

Today marks the feast day of, Our Lady of Sorrows. This feast day commemorates Mary's unique role in the suffering of Jesus.

Today as I went to mass father spoke about the nature of true love.   He elaborated that to truly love another person is to suffer. He said that love does not run away from suffering, but rather true love embraces suffering, just as Mary did during Jesus' crucifixion. 

Father then spoke about a husband who stood by his wife's side while she was suffering.  He stood by her side, each and every day until she eventually died. He never left her, he suffered with her. Naturally I recoiled when I heard this.  I, like most people find suffering dreadful. But once I was able to get over my discomfort the beautiful poetic truth about suffering began to take form.

I began to ask the inevitable, What would I do if my wife or child was suffering through a disease?  What would I do if they were dying?  Would I run away from them? or would I try to suffer with them together?  Despite my great fear I answered in the affirmative that I would choose to suffer together with them. This answer was not heroic, it came naturally, I didn't have to even think about it.  To me the greatest pain is to suffer alone.  That's why I believe that God allowed the blessed mother to suffer with Jesus.  He wanted to show us that no one on this earth deserves to suffer alone.  Just imagine for a second what Mary had to endure as she saw her beloved son, beaten, tortured, ridiculed, and murdered. Mary was totally powerless to change the circumstances.  The only and best thing that she could do was to be there for Jesus at the foot of the cross.  I believe that this scene from the movie, The Passion best captures this:  

 It is my prayer that we all learn to embrace suffering as Mary did so heroically during Jesus' crucifixion.


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