If we are a catholic and sometimes while away the time between now and eternity by thinking upon the signs of the times. We must duty bound at this time think of suffering. Is this not an appropriate thought? Is it not due to the time of the year and the church calendar, the period called Lent? To use the phrase made by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, we have three periods in the Life of Christ Thirty years of Life, three years of teaching and three hours on the Cross. My feeling is this time for me is preparing for the three hours on the cross with Christ.
What kind of man was He? We know He never sinned. We know He prepared Himself for His final act before the cross with prayer, fasting and abstinence. Anyone who wishes to truly imitate Christ at this time in our year must prepare in the same way, making every real effort to be close to His state, in grace that is. In the days before Vat 2 the precepts of the Church demanded we made our Easter Duty, that is confession and communion. The teachers in the Catholic School I attended reminded and asked us if we had, and we did.
Today because of the nonsense taught by inexperienced but well meant catechists, inexperienced in our faith due in most cases to their recent conversions, do not even know the phrase Easter Duty. I would say most even cradle Catholics of an older age have forgotten the title, the Duty that is demanded of us by our faith. How many even have paid attention to the first homily of the Vat 2 council, which unequivocally taught us the Council was not dogmatic and could not change the teachings of the Church, and the repetition of this fact by every Pope since.
Let me now write that we should all suffer in some way, through self denial, interior discipline and unfortunately in various degrees through the world. These are all sources of our temptations and it is only by scourging them from our system can we undergo the Lenten period as a 'good' for our spiritual life and look forward to a life of eternal grace.
Can I say the whole world to a catholic is an altar of suffering, each ache and pain we undergo whether spiritually, materially or bodily is an act we should accept for our own good and then only then for the good of others. God truly welcomes and blesses even the sufferings of the pure and innocent and upon the worldly altar we should humbly and meekly offer our selves and our lives for our salvation, the salvation of others and for the good of the Holy Catholic and Papal Church. Gently demanding of God from our behavior and desires the spiritual welfare of all that should be accounted as His.
Will you I ask? Do you I ask? Do we ask God for only that, which benefits us in this world telling the man who at this moment is closing in on the three hours He carries our sins He should do this or that for us rather than closing our eyes and asking, "Let me at least carry the weight of my sins? Let me give You satisfaction for the sacrileges and blasphemies I have committed upon Your Holy Body. Please help me to be, for You and not against You.