DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     September 10-12, 1999     vol. 10, no. 172


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      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

      This weekend Sister looks toward next week and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on Wednesday. Sister examines the concept of suffering as Our Lady did and refutes the Old Testament concept of why one suffers, enlightening the reader as to why we must suffer, no matter what those crosses may be, and that by carrying our cross willingly we share in both the suffering of Our Lady and her Divine Son Jesus and reap the merits of that suffering if we offer all our sorrows to God for His honor and glory. If we don't, then we've wasted our suffering and that's the saddest part. That is the gist of Sister's column this weekend, Our Lady had troubles, too.

      Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.


        On September 15th we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. It is good for us to remember that despite the fact that our Blessed Mother had some extraordinary privileges, for example, being immaculately conceived, being the Mother of God, etc., she still had a number of trials, problems, and sufferings ... many of which were very severe.

        People of the Old Testament (and sometimes in our own day) held that, if a person suffered great hardships, it was because they had sinned against God. This idea is contradicted by the story of Job and, of course, our Blessed Mother, who was not only immaculately conceived, but never committed the slightest offense against God. She never said “No!” to God ... ever!!!!

        It would be true to say that suffering is the result of sin, that is, Original Sin. God never intended that human beings should die, get sick, or even earn bread by the sweat of their brow. It was the disobedience of Adam and Eve that brought sin into the human arena and with sin all of the effects of sin.

        However, we see that our Blessed Mother, despite her perfect obedience, her perfect sinlessness, (a grace obtained for her by her Son’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection) suffered many trials and heartbreaks. She had to leave her native land and flee to Egypt to save the life of her Son; Jesus was “lost” for three days; she felt the hatred of others for Jesus; she endured unspeakable suffering in watching Jesus endure His Passion and Death.

        Suffering afflicts everyone on this earth. No one is exempt. No one escapes it, even the very holy. Jesus Himself, Who is the Holy of Holies, suffered greatly. Since suffering is endured by each of us, it behooves us to strive to carry our crosses the way a Christian should. In Scripture we never witness Jesus murmuring, grumbling, complaining about what He had to suffer. We do not see Him lashing out at others, taking revenge on others, calling anyone names, wishing anyone harm. He not only endured all with great patience, He endured all with great love. He appreciated the smallest kindness shown to Him, He prayed for those who caused Him suffering. He blessed. He did not curse His enemies.

        Like Father, like Son! Like Mother, like Son! Like Son, like Mother!

        Our Blessed Mother suffered like Jesus with patience, love, appreciation for the slightest kindness, with prayer, with kindness for others. In so doing her suffering brought her closer to God because it is in trials that our virtue is truly tested. In Heaven we shall learn, also, to what extent her suffering contributed to the salvation of souls.

        We all know that the greatest evil is sin, but the next greatest evil is not suffering ... it is WASTED suffering.

        Every day in our morning offering, let us united all of our sufferings of the day with Our Lord’s sufferings (through Mary). That way our sufferings, too, will be meritorious for our own salvation and the salvation of others. And let us try to imitate Jesus and His Mother ... our Mother in the way They handled their sufferings.

        God bless you!

September 10-12, 1999       volume 10, no. 172


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