Suffering transforms the heart

It’s very difficult to watch someone we love suffer.

It’s even more difficult to watch someone we love suffer because of our own sins and failings…

Watching something like that transforms the heart. A true test of love is the amount another person is willing to suffer for us, including when that suffering comes as a result of our own problems.

This is exactly the love of Jesus for us. The only reason he suffered was precisely because of our own sins and faults. That’s why He became incarnate, that’s the only reason he spent his life performing miracles, healings and transforming people’s hearts. Our sins are the only reason for the Last Supper, the betrayal, the agony, the scourging, the false witnesses, the crown of thorns, the way of the Cross, and his death.

Our sins are the only reason we have the Sacraments and the Church itself, which was conceived from the flowing blood and water of his pierced side.

And at the same time, our sins are the only reason for the Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost too.

The greatest graces come to us in the moments of the greatest suffering, whether it be our own or of someone we love very much.

And so what do we do when we see this happening? We need to encourage. Paul and Barnabas were a great team – and Barnabas was exactly who Paul needed. Why? Barnabas means “son of encouragement.” Paul was quite beat up in his travels to proclaim the Gospel, and I believe that Barnabas was there for Paul as much as he was for everyone else.

So if we see someone alone in the airport – encourage them. If we see a homeless person on the side of the road, encourage them. If we see someone we love alone, encourage them. Call them by their name…

Names are powerful, they have meaning, and many people in our world today do not hear their names pronounced by someone they love – because many people in this world do not know that they are loved. Homeless people can go weeks without hearing their name, and that’s powerful. But more powerful is when we ask them what it is.

I love to call people by their full names, that’s why I’m quick to correct when people shorten mine to John. To quote Sacajawea in Night at the Museum 2, “That is not my name.” But I digress…

So love people, love them without counting the cost. Love them whether they’re a be a friend or a stranger in the airport, or the homeless person on the street. Will your good intentions be misunderstood? Probably. Should that stop us? Absolutely not.

I have called you by name. You are mine.

If there’s anyone that can understand our intentions it’s certainly our moms, because they know us best. Maybe you’ve lost yours… Maybe you’re having a disagreement that’s caused some tension… Either way, if we love by giving of ourselves totally to those around us those wounds will heal. Especially if we love the people whom we may have hurt. And for the mean time the Blessed Mother will always understand us, and we don’t have to sit around and wonder because she is always by our side, and sees what is in our hearts.

She took all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Run to Mary, and she’ll give you the grace to run to Jesus. And running to Jesus sometimes means running to the Cross. As hard as it is run to the Cross, do it anyway, because after Good Friday comes Easter Sunday. And after the Cross comes the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

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