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Ordinary Time?  September is a chance at holiness through Our Lady of Sorrows

1. No one can attain to eternal salvation without suffering.
“No one is crowned unless he strive lawfully” (2 Tim. ii. 5).

Even Christ had to enter into His glory through suffering (Luke xxiv. 26). Our Lord says “He that taketh not up his cross and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me” (Matt. x. 38). The road to heaven is a rough one. In order to make the flax that grows in the earth into pure white linen, it must be rubbed, stretched, and thoroughly cleansed, and woven. The corn has to be threshed and winnowed; the pure gold has to pass through fire. Not to suffer is a sign that no future happiness is in store for you. Suffering and holiness are inseparably bound up together. There is no good work that does not meet with obstacles, no virtue that does not have to fight and struggle.

For this reason God leaves no just man without suffering.

God treats us as a physician treats his patients; those of whose recovery he despairs he leaves alone; but to those whom he hopes to cure, he administers bitter medicines. As milk is the food of children, so are contradictions the food of God’s elect. To His chosen God gives a sword on earth to pierce their heart, and a crown in heaven to adorn their heads. Yet God mingles with the bitterness of suffering the sweets of consolation. We see this throughout the history of Our Lady, which consists of alternate joys and sorrows. So, too, we celebrate the seven joys and sorrows of St. Joseph.

2. All suffering comes from God, and is a sign of His love and favor.

We find in the lives of the saints that the more good works they undertook for God, the more did suffering assail them, as in the case of Tobias, and of holy Job. Sufferings seem to be the reward of good works performed. They are a precious gift, which will avail us to all eternity. To suffer something for God is in itself a great privilege and honor. It is a better gift than that of performing miracles and raising the dead. Parents often punish their children to cure them of their faults. If they see the same faults in the children of others, they do not trouble themselves about them, because they do not care for them. So it is with God; the children whom He loves He often corrects. Hence Raphael said to Tobias, “Because thou wast pleasing to God, it was necessary thattemptation should prove thee” (Tob. xii. 13). St. Paul says, “Whom the Lord loveth He chastiseth; and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Heb. xii. 6). “Gold and silver are tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of tribulation” (Ecclus. ii. 5). The greater a saint, the greater were in most cases his sufferings. Our Lady was the Queen of martyrs. The apostles had to suffer much, especially St. Peter and St. Paul (Of2 Cor. xi. 23, seq.).

To be free from suffering is a bad sign. St. Augustine says: “There is no greater misfortune than the good fortune of sinners. He who does not suffer now will have to suffer hereafter.”


September 14 is the Triumph of the Cross

Painting by Matthew Brooks

There's a reason we've had the cross at the center of our logo from the beginning -- the cross is the well spring of Christian life and our journey to the Church Triumphant.  Are you ever surprised that modernists remove crucifixes from our churches and schools?  


There are many ways to venerate Our Lady, but there are two things she asks us to do consistently:  pray our rosary and do penance.

Nestled in the middle of this month is the feast commemorating the finding of the True Cross, the one Our Lord was crucified on.

When Catholics pray, the Apostles taught that we make the sign of the cross as a constant reminder that the cross is central to our struggle for Heaven.  We must suffer as Our Lord did.  We must take up our cross and follow Him.  Mary is Queen of martyrs as she suffered these things and more.  Today, people seem to have little regard for making the sign of the Cross, but it is the chief sacramental for a reason.  It's powerful!

Some More on Suffering and Sorrows

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
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Suffering the Ignorant Orthopraxis of Our Day
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