Great Love = Great Suffering

Today at Mass during Fr. Lou’s homily he stated something like the greater we love something or someone the greater we suffer. That can have a negative connotation as in the more I love and/or horde material things the more I will fret about their disappearance. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I often worry a lot about my son and daughter. I think that is common with almost any parent. Some parents might handle it better. Some might deny it, but most would agree that children are a great source of concern and well they should be. I love both our children and when they’re out of our sight as they are now away at college I am concerned for their welfare.

In our culture we’re almost conditioned to avoid suffering. We have medicine and counseling that allow us to hide from suffering. But it would seem upon reflection that great suffering can be a great blessing and if I look at it from a different perspective. The Holy Father’s recent encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est”, seems to carry a similar message. The deeper my conversion as a follower of Jesus, the deeper my love, and therefore the deeper my suffering when encountering that which conflicts with the vision of God’s love for us all. The greater my capacity for love, the greater my compassion and also the greater my tendency to suffer. Being a devoted follower of Christ means then that I am his hands, his ears, his eyes, his feet and his heart. I cannot suffer but what he suffers. He cannot suffer but what I suffer. We are one with him.

The greater then my connection to Christ the greater my capacity to suffer. That is a blessing, perhaps the greatest blessing I could have. Peace.