Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gospel creeps.



"To suffer and be despised." - St. John of the Cross
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That prayer of John of the Cross always fascinates me.  Our Lord invited the Saint to ask him for any favor he desired, and John prayed, "To suffer and be despised."  John of the Cross did suffer and he was despised - by members of his own order, in fact his prior despised and persecuted him. 
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To suffer and be despised seems to me a very hard thing to embrace - human nature absolutely rebels against it.  People are usually despised because they are perceived as bad, or they are of a lower, meaner status.  In the Gospel, many despicable people followed Jesus or sought his attention - some were even kind of creepy.  The Samaritan woman, the Magdalen, Zaccheus, the lepers, and so on.  Social outcasts.  Peter himself was despicable when he denied Christ three times.  And of course, Christ was despised and put to death.
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So what's my point?  I'm not sure.  Just that to suffer and be despised is difficult to bear - especially when you realize you really deserve such treatment.  I think that is what fallen human nature rebels against most and seeks to deny.  It's such a mystery.
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Anyway - I've been pondering the issue lately...  But I'm running out of answers.   

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:48 PM

    have you seen this, Terry?

    http://www.catholictradition.org/Saints/virtue2.htm

    Its some quotes and examples of the saints on the virtue of humility.

    Pretty staggering the lengths they went through to practice this virtue.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't figure it out either, but I've begun to learn to trust Him even when things seem completely beyond my understanding.

    I don't think, however, that God calls all of us to seek suffering. He does ask all of us to accept it when it comes. And that can be hard enough...

    ReplyDelete

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