i can't see you
thursday thirteen, things mama said

sr josefa and redemptive suffering

JosefaNow I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. - Colossians 1:24

Sister Josefa Menendez wrote: I begged him to accept all the little acts, . . . the sufferings, . . . and above all the very real desire . . . to comfort him and please him. I asked him to purify and transform these very little things and give them some value in his sight.

Jesus replied: I do not look at the act itself, I look at the intention. The smallest act, if done out of love, acquires such merit that it gives me immense consolation. . . Love me, and refuse me nothing to obtain for me the love of many souls."

I want to give Jesus souls through every hardship; to offer whatever cross or suffering God allows in my life for the salvation of souls. Difficult relationships provide ample opportunity to unite sufferings to Jesus's sufferings for lost souls. Most often I forget about this awesome opportunity I've been given to "offer it up" and instead get caught up in the annoyances, frustrations and hurt of the moment. But I'm learning and I ask for the grace to remember to offer it up, whatever "it" may be.

Somehow, when we unite our sufferings to those of Jesus, our Lord will bring good to the lives of others in need of him. It's an awesome opportunity and I deeply wish I'd known this years ago. Not only does our suffering united with his suffering work salvifically in the lives of others, but it helps us along the road to holiness. 

It doesn't have to be a great hardship like persecution or cancer, for us to offer it up. We can offer up the phone call from an annoying neighbor, the email we're struggling to compose, the laundry, . . . There is no limit. 

The minutia of day-to-day life provides much opportunity to grow in holiness. Saints of God, pray for me. Help me see those opportunities as you did.



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