Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Advent and Suffering

During Advent, we look forward to once again celebrating the Incarnation. God taking upon himself, the flesh of man, to redeem his people. But the joy of this great historic event was tempered for Mary and Joseph by several events. The disruptive uncomfortable trip to their home town, delivering a baby in a cave then followed by the adoration of the magi, one of whom brought preparations for a funeral- myrrh. Then the dangerous flight into Egypt to escape Herod's holocaust. Later, Simeon's words to Mary that her "soul would be pierced by a sword" reminded her that there would be more suffering in her life for sure.
Christ the redeemer came to the world in the midst of great suffering of his people. He lived a life as a "man of sorrows" acquainted with grief and ultimately suffered beyond imagination as he bore the sins of the world past, present and future.
The late John Paul II said that not only did Christ redeem us by his suffering, but he redeemed suffering as well. Christ showed us how to suffer and how to offer that suffering to the Father and to use the suffering in a redemptive way. From the moment of his birth to the moment of his death on the cross Jesus life was a model of suffering for us. St. Paul understood this when he said he rejoiced in his sufferings for the sake of Christ's body, the Church. (Col 1:25) Paul knew that the Christian life was filled with both joy and suffering. He desired that "I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death..."(Phil 3:10)

"Lord, this Advent, help me to accept the trials in my life and those around me with humility and hope, knowing that when I offer up my pain to you, adding it to your afflictions, I am entering into the fellowship of your sufferings, that I may ultimately be drawn close to your heart"

For more on redemptive suffering please check my blog post here


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