TO LOVE IS TO SUFFER
How these words of Blessed Conchita pierced my heart. They evoked a feeling so immediate and overpowering. And this was an indication to me that the Holy Spirit made me read those words. Before then, I was dealing with a feeling of guilt and needed to ask for forgiveness after reading the following words, which brought me compunction of heart, “I must also be an apostle by keeping silence when others talk scandal in my presence, by my speech in defending the honor of my neighbors, in excusing their weakness and defects, in speaking of God, of His love, of His goodness and of His charity to all me” (Blessed Conchita, Before the Altar, p.129.)
Many times, when we hear of the weakness of others, we do not come to their defense. How many times the Lord has exhorted me to teach that the only thing we can say about a person when he or she is not there is the good thing about the person. Any other thing is improper to Him, especially speaking about the weakness of that person. This does not please God at all (Psalm 50: Rom15:1.)
Oftentimes, too, we speak against persons because of what they have done to us. We are not happy with them; we want to severe the relationship. Many relationships are about to break apart now. We want to close the door of our heart because we have noticed the weakness of the person. And this is the aspect where these words “to love is to suffer” vigorously protruded my heart. These words saved a situation for me that glorified God; joy of the Lord filled me heart and I am glad I opened my heart to suffer even more. I pray that the Lord prevails in your own situation, you will experience the same joyful victory.
An Experience of Sacrificial Love
The love between parents and their children is the model of God’s Love (Ps.103.) I see parents readily and selflessly attending to the neediness of their children. This is love. I recall having a conversation with one of my friends who believed that during his school years, girls loved and ran after what he called “the bad boys” more than the other boys. He could not fathom why. However, he reasoned that he could see the instinct of motherliness manifesting in such, a readiness to mother a neediness. He could be partly correct. I recall being in a church in my hometown as an altar server; as the Mass progressed, a little child, almost fell off from the balcony, suspended in the rail, on the first floor of the church (where little children were kept during Mass.) The adults were on the ground floor. As I looked it was like all the mothers in that big church stretched out their hands with eyes looking up at the same time, even unconsciously, to catch the child. It was interesting that some of the mothers who stretched out their hands were standing 200 feet away from the spot the child could fallen on. It was an experience so moving that made me see the love of God in parents, especially mothers.
Then I was thinking how this stretching of hand to “catch”, stretching of hand to suffer for the other is easily vanishing from love. How this stretching of hand is departing between a husband and a wife to catch each other, rending many marriages “asundered.” May the Holy Spirit exert the same force “To Love is to Suffer” upon marriages again. Can this help a wife or a husband to catch the other partner, someone in marriage is almost becoming homeless – and then all the vipers of drug, cold, prostitution, etc. on the street ready to grab. Stretched hands from a heart ready to suffer in love can stop this to the glory of God, and then the pleasure of love, your peace and joy. Someone may say, “My case is with a grown-up man. Or a grown-up woman” May God give us grace to see childlike neediness in all weaknesses, and grant healing to this neediness in exchange to your kindness.
Fr. Ignatius of the Immaculate Heart (cmdorg.org)
Through Mary to Jesus