I want to do something great for God – so how do I go about it?

Out of love for the Cross of Jesus and the salvation of souls, Saint Isaac Jogues SJ lovingly accepted Christ’s invitation to enter into His passion when his fingers were chewed off by 17th Century Canadian Mohawks

The greatest thing a person can do for God is to offer to lay down his life for Him. For all those men and woman who’ve won their martyrs crowns, the journey begins in love for the Cross of Jesus. Love for Jesus Christ and the sacrificial redeeming love outpouring from His Cross of self-denial is the place of ultimate action. I thank you, O my God for the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering and for deigning to give me a share in your very precious Cross’ exclaims St. Therese as she longs to share in the suffering of Jesus by bearing witness to the stigmata of His passion. These words of Saint Therese of Lisieux typify the attitude of all those men and women whose sainthood is a fruit of being closest friends to Jesus’ suffering on the Cross out of love for Him. Saint Teresa of Avila couldn’t live without suffering in the end and Saint John of the Cross learnt that to truly love God, we must choose all that is most distasteful ‘whether in God or in the world‘.

I don’t know yet that which God wants me to suffer out of love for His holy Son Jesus in the long run or whether he will call me to pay the ultimate price. In the meantime, I can lovingly offer up the daily multitude of little sufferings and crosses that come my way. In the end, if I truly wish to do something great for God, then my love for sacred suffering and sacrifice will determine the greatness of what I do ‘for far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ‘ Galatians 6:14.

So if I really want to do something great for God, I must surely be in that place, by His grace, when I will be able to proclaim with Saint Paul ‘I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church‘ Colossians 1:24.

John Cassidy

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