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Diocese of Rockville Centre

St. Margaret Mary endured much suffering throughout her life; many of the Saints did.  The spirituality of suffering is a difficult one - is our own suffering truly redemptive?  St. Paul tells us in Colossians 1:24, "I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church".

So what does that mean for us?  We all have the Cross in our lives in one way or another - it may be illness, financial problems, family issues, addictions or loneliness, to name a few.  It is how we carry our Cross, whether we do it with faith and love, triumphantly because we know that God is always with us, or whether we become bitter and blame God, which shows the world what we truly believe.

jesus_onthe_cross_blue.jpgChrist suffered terribly during His crucifixion.  In a crucifixion death comes from suffocation, from the weight of the body pulling down on the chest.  But it comes slowly, because the human spirit wants to survive, and when breathing becomes difficult, the crucified one will still try, with all his might, to push up on the nail that holds his feet to the beam.  It's a constant struggle to push up through the pain and try to take that last, difficult breath.

If time is eternal, and if we accept our suffering with dignity and love, perhaps somehow we make Christ's last breath a bit easier.  Perhaps we make up what is lacking, not because Jesus didn't completely redeem us, but because we show the rest of the world HOW Christ suffered, with faith and love, even though He was, in His humanity, as terrified as we are. 

It is Christ's body, His church, which is the witness of His suffering to the world today.  We make up what is lacking when we show His love to those who did not witness it 2,000 years ago.   Today, carry your Cross, whatever it is, and make that sacrifice of Love for Jesus Christ.

St. Margaret Mary, pray for us!