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Mar 222018
 

Looking at Jesus we find the meaning of human suffering
It is impossible that there is someone who has never suffered in his life. No matter the type and degree of suffering, we all suffered for something or someone. There is no human being who has not or will not have a difficult time in his life, but whenever this day comes we fall into our questions: “But why am I living it?”; “Why does suffering exist?” Or “Why do I suffer so much?”

The-suffering-is-a-via-wonderful-encounter-with-Jesus
Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

At first there is no answer that can respond superficially to this situation, nor are there explanations and magical solutions to this, which the world around us proposes to us. Only by looking at Jesus do we find the meaning of human suffering. Only the ordeal reveals something concrete.

Did Jesus suffer?
Jesus suffered when he received the news of the death of his friend Lazarus; and suffers to see that His people walk like sheep without a shepherd. The Lord suffers as he beholds Jerusalem that would not listen to the prophets who were sent there. He had suffered when he contemplated the ordeal that awaited him and the burden of the sins he would carry, and yet he decided – out of love – to ascend the mountain of suffering . In the Passion of Christ we also find the passion (suffering) of man of all time. The mountain of Calvary, (before the place of death) is for the Christian – place of encounter with mercy.

Christianity is the seemingly “absurd” religion because God has decided to visit and save His people through suffering and it is on the cross that we have proof that God had to suffer until death to show us that suffering is a powerful way to find in Jesus not only the Man of Suffering (Is 53: 3-7), but the Man who overcame suffering (Mt 11, 18, Rev 21: 4), and the Man who declares blessed all who suffer and are persecuted (Mt 5, 11, Lk 6, 21).

Experiencing Calvary

Who said suffering is cause for discouragement? The Word of God shows us the example of Christ: “Instead of the joy that He had offered Him, He endured the Cross and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who has suffered so many contraries from sinners and do not let yourselves be discouraged by discouragement “(Heb 12, 2-3).

Who said that Jesus is indifferent to his suffering? The Word also reveals to us the compassion of Christ for us: “Indeed, because he himself endured tribulation, he is able to come to the aid of those who are afflicted” (Heb 2:18). In other words, Jesus suffered much more than you suffered, for this reason, you know what you feel and need.

We are in the time of Lent and approaching Holy Week, we are asked a question from God: “Do you want to go up and do the ordeal?”

He has won the greatest of all sufferings: death
Do not waste your suffering, do not throw away your tears. If God chose the Cross of Christ as a bridge of salvation between Him and man, why do we want to cast it out? Why not carry it with joy? Many want to experience Christ, but few want to experience the Crucified.

I do not know what your suffering is; I only know that without it you will not behold the dawn of a new day. Your tears can not stop you from seeing the sun rising every day. For us who believe, this sun is new, for it is part of a new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of the Son of God, who has won the greatest of all sufferings: death.

There is only Resurrection, because a Man “who emptied himself of His divine condition” decided to ascend the mountain of Calvary. Only great men climb the mountains of life.

Is that you? Do you want to experience climbing the mountain on Calvary? If the answer is yes, welcome the encounter with Christ. However, if your answer is no, please do not go to the tomb, for the stone has not yet been removed. Remember that the grave is empty only because the ordeal is empty.

Daniel Machado

Canção Nova Missionarya

Aug 012017
 

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

Try to identify the source of your sufferings. See if it is possible to alleviate or escape from them, then pray

When you suffer, you must keep two things in mind: 1) God does not want suffering, because He is the God of life, love and happiness. 2) Suffering is part of the finite, transient and human situation of our being.

We know that all sorts of suffering entered the world through sin. It is necessary to know how to look at him not with despair, escape, revolt, but with tranquility and inner peace .

 

It is not possible to live without disease, without suffering and conflicts, because they are part of our human reality. We find them present in the lives of all: saints and sinners, even in the life of Jesus, Our Lady and all people loved by God.

We can not escape the “deterioration” of our body that grows old, falls ill and dies. Faced with this, it is necessary to change our focus and contemplate all these as paths that lead us to maturity, enrich us with experiences and prepare us for “new heavens and new lands”, where there will be no more pain or tears.

Today, we no longer know how to be joyful, because we reject the wounds and we despair to the point where, to escape pain, there are those who preach death, euthanasia and suicide as remedy. Of course, these means are contrary to the will of God and against our human nature, which is made to live.Whatever your suffering, you must know how to love and accept it, and undoubtedly seek all means to alleviate it.

It is not necessary to go to find suffering or to ask for suffering, it is only to accept those we meet on our way.

Read more:

The worst service we can render to Jesus is to present Him as the One who goes in search of death, pain and suffering. Through the Gospels, we can see Jesus before the pain of which He teaches us to flee. Remember?

When Jesus is sought to be thrown down from the hill, what does He do? He flees, When the guards seek Him to bind Him in the temple, what does the Lord do? He flees.  When are they trying to kill Him?Jesus runs away too. He always runs away! But when the cross, death, suffering become the only way of fidelity to the Father, to the plan of God in his life, He assumes them.

Here are some Bible passages about

“When they heard this, all who were in the synagogue were furious. They got up, dragged him out of the city and led him to the top of the hill where the city was built, to be rushed down. But passing through them, Jesus went away “(Lk 4: 28-30).

“When he had thus spoken, he departed and hid himself from them” (Jn 12,36).

“Therefore, Jesus no longer walked in public among the Jews. And he went away to the region nearest to the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there he lived with his disciples “(Jn 11:54).

“Again they sought to arrest him, but he withdrew from his hands” (Jn 10:39).

This should be our attitude. When suffering is the only way of fidelity to God and our brothers and sisters, we must accept it with love.

Identify the source of your suffering

Try to identify the source of your sufferings: physical, spiritual, and moral. See if you can alleviate them or escape from them, then pray, ask God for strength to be able to take the cross as a gift of the same love of God. After all, by faith we know that “we complete in our flesh what is lacking in the passion of Jesus Christ”. Listen to these words of Elizabeth of the Trinity:

“O my beloved Christ, crucified for love; I had wanted to be a wife for your Heart, I want to cover you with glory, to love you until I die of love! But I feel my impotence and I ask you to clothe me in yourselves, to identify my soul with all your movements, to submerge me, to invade me, to replace you with me, so that my life is a true irradiation Of yours “ (elevation to the Trinity).

And of John of the Cross:

“Crucified inwardly and outwardly with Christ, she will live in this life in abundance and satisfaction of her soul, possessing it in patience” (Sayings 85).

“Christ’s crucifixion is enough! To suffer and rest with Him; But to do this  all things interior and exterior must be must be annihilated” (Sayings 90).

Learn to resize things

Not all sufferings are the same, we must be able to distinguish them so as not to “make a storm in a glass of water”. Overreaching is never good for our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. It is necessary to always resize things. And, faced with the problems of life, know what we can change, because something depends on us; And what we can not change because it does not depend on us.

 

The Christian, however, will never assume a “stoic and deterministic” attitude. He knows that in order not to be attacked by suffering, it is necessary to accept it in the way of love. What can help us is to meditate on the Passion of the Lord Jesus: see chapters 26-27 of the Gospel according to Matthew;Chapters 14-15 of Mark; Chapters 18-19 of the Gospel of John and the beautiful way of Jesus presented by the apostle Paul:

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2: 6-11 NABRE).

My experience

In my life, as in everyone’s life, there has not been a lack of suffering or pain of all kinds, but with the grace of God and the help of the mystics of Carmel, I have come to understand that suffering is a “palace”, a “gift of God”. When I find myself in suffering, I take the crucifix in my hands and carefully, my eyes on Jesus crucified, and I receive all the courage and the strength to not be discouraged. And I see the truth of Jesus’ words:

“Verily I say unto you, Unless the grain of wheat fall into the earth, and die not, it shall be left alone; But if it dies, it will bear much fruit “ (Jn 12,24).

Friar Patrício Sciadini, ocd

Portuguese version

Jul 312017
 
Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

It is important to understand what to do after a difficult day.

The Word of God teaches us:  In my spirit faints within me, my heart is consumed. Tell me the road that I must follow, for to you I lift my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your good spirit guide me on a flat road “(Psalm 143,4,8b.10).

 

He knows those days when we think in our hearts: My God! Why did I get out of bed today? I should have stayed home sleeping! Well, those complicated days indeed do exist and happen even if we do not want them. Days when everything seems to run against us, where we spend the hours crossing people who are more distracting helping, so that everything gets under our skin and anything, no matter how small, is cause for irritation and whining. Hence the question: what do I do on a day like this?

As we read Psalm 143, we realize that the psalmist also had his moment of wanting to “lie in bed” and forget that such a day had existed. But what did he do? Murmured? Did you become a victim? Put the blame on everyone? The answer is “no”. At the very moment when he could no longer bear it, when his heart was consumed and his spirit faint, he prayed to God and asked that the divine will be fulfilled in his life. Instead of blaming “government,” the people around him, and the “system,” he begged the Lord to show him the way to go. He asked the Lord to be his teacher and, like an applied student, wished to learn to fulfill the divine will.

At this difficult time the psalmist goes on, he does not complain, but wants to learn to extract the sovereign will of God from the troubled environment, like a gold digger who finds grams of gold in the midst of tons of earth.

However, discovering and fulfilling the divine will, just at that moment when our desire drives us to want to “squeeze” someone, is not as simple as it seems. But I believe that the Holy Spirit can and wants to do a new work in our heart. It is up to you and me to ask the Divine Spirit to educate us in the concrete situations of each day, whether it is difficult or not. Let us ask Him to lead us always to discern the will of God in every moment, person or situation with which we face. Believe: God will do His part. He always does it. Then we will reap beautiful fruits of conversion and holiness.

I repeat: it is not as simple as it seems, but it is, without a doubt, something wonderful. I shared with you, in this article, something that God taught me to read this psalm before the tabernacle. And why was I standing before the tabernacle reading Psalm 143? Because, just like you and the psalmist, I also have my difficult days.

Let’s pray?

“Reinflame our hearts, Lord Jesus! Give us a heart tender and attentive to Thy holy will. May we learn by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to find the peace that comes from the certainty of being in communion with God’s desire, even in the midst of the most complicated and distressing situations that we can face day by day. Teach me to complain less and to listen more to Your voice, to learn, more and more, to grow more and more and serve more and more for love. Amen.”

A hug and my prayers for you.

Alexandre Oliveira 
Missionary of the Canção Nova Community

Portuguese version

Jun 292017
 

When we cry, the Holy Spirit Washes Our soul

We are a body, and that body is suffering, but we have to take advantage even of our sufferings. They are part of everyone’s lives, and we cannot ignore them. So be happy of that your condition that makes you cry. It seems that the humiliation that makes us cry, that with each teardrop rolling out of our eyes is a sight for sore eyes of God.

The Lord sees us in the depths of our being. and this action is beautiful  helping us benefit from our suffering! First, as I already mentioned, suffering is part of life for all. Then, there are those moments that one feels a bitterness in the heart, that squeezes inside, leaving us just to cry.

When we cry, the Holy Spirit washes our soul, which is impregnated with impurity and sin, so we suffer. The washing of the Holy Spirit in our interior causes the tears. In these moments, God takes advantage of coming directly to us, we are without masks, needy, and is in tears spilled from the heart that He can welcome us. 

Your brother,

Wellington Garden (Eto)
Co-founder of the community and administrator of FJPII 

Portuguese version

Jun 202017
 

Oração da Manhã com Salete Ferreira

Suffering is a school of Holiness

“The blood of Christ, while it reveals the greatness of the love of the father, also expresses how man is precious in the eyes of God and how priceless is the value of your life.” (John Paul II)

Let us pause to reflect on how many were the moments of pain in our life, in which we thought: “I can’t stand it anymore”, “I do not deserve this suffering”, “why do I have to go through this?”, “what have I done wrong?”, “does this look like a punishment!”.

Brothers, we can’t get swallowed by the new world mentality, which is based on the practical materialism, in pursuit of pleasure, and individualism.

The contradictions, the tribulations and the constraints by which we spent our life are assumed fully by Jesus: “Being rich, made himself poor for you, in order to enrich poverty” (2 Corinthians 8.9). In suffering, Jesus leads us to fully realize the meaning of our existence.

No one as He took over for you all our pains, saving us to eternal life. To find out the mystery of suffering, to open us to a greater good: the gift to go to the other, overcome our prejudices, we love and cherish life. Our suffering is a school of Holiness. Our pain makes us experience the mercy of God, the dignity and the saving force that are his own. Blessed be our evidence.

Jesus, I trust in you!

Luzia Santiago
Co-founder of the community Canção Nova

Portuguese version

 

 

Mar 052014
 

All my fears are realized and what I me fear comes to touch me. (Job 3:25)

We cannot  become slaves to fear; on the contrary, we have to fight against this feeling, and always trust in God. In truth, what the enemy wants is that we become slaves of him (fear) and the pain in order that we may remain immersed in self-pity angry with God and with those that are around us.
Therefore, if you are in pain, pray, seek prayer and find a doctor. This professional has the ways to help us. Do not turn yourself over to desperation, but he medicine provided by God (cf Sirach 38:9-12)

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In the hour of pain, abandon yourself into the hands of the Lord, fight to not grumble and do not turn your soul over to sadness. Unite yourself to the cross of Christ, offering all your suffering in reparation to the sins committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners, for the conversion of your family members and for the souls in purgatory, giving all as a sacrifice of the Lord.
God bless you,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the Canção Nova Community

translated from Portuguese

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