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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Odd News For Some

As odd as it may sound to some, there have been saints who, through the years have dedicated themselves to God with a strong desire for personal suffering and increased prayer. One example is Mother Mary Teresa of St. Joseph, the founder of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus. She viewed suffering in such a spiritual light that she could say on page 284 in her autobiography, “It is my vocation to suffer and do penance for holy Mother the Church and for the freedom of the Church.”

At the death of her beloved spiritual mother, Pauline, in February 1874 from pleurisy Mary Teresa received the great grace to recognize the blessing of suffering so much so that she began to ask for crosses and sufferings for her whole life as she states on pages 17 and 22. She did this because she wanted to become nearer to God.

The homeless, by default suffer greatly because of lack of medical care and nutrition stemming from rigorous days of perpetual walking, lack of health insurance and poor nutrition. But what about the rest of us who are well-fed, well-clothed and medically made up? Would we be willing, like Mary Teresa to give up wealthy and middle-class comforts for a little or a lot of suffering?

Over the past nine months, bloggers and readers were polled the following question: “Would you pray for opportunities to suffer if you knew somehow it was good for you and for others?” Here is how they responded . . .

78% said, “Yes!”

21% said, “No.” More than likely, this group would prefer to take the suffering as it comes along in life, but not specifically to go out and look for it.

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