Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Grace Comes After Tribulation

Grace Comes After Tribulation
                Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty:  "Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation.  Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.  Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase.  Let them take care not to stray and be deceived.  This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven."
            When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemed to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status:  "Hear, O people; hear, O nations.  I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that come from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions.  We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul."
            That same force strongly urged me to proclaim the beauty of divine grace.  It pressed me so that my breath came slow and forced me to sweat and pant: I felt as if my soul could no longer be kept in the prison of the body, but that it had burst its chains and was free and alone and was going very swiftly through the whole world saying:
            "If only mortals would learn how great it is to posses divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious.  How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights!  Without doubt they would devote all their care and concern to winning for themselves pains and afflictions.  All men throughout the world would seek trouble, infirmities and torments, instead of good fortune, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace.  This is the reward and the final gain of patience.  No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men."  St. Rose of Lima, virgin
            We do not look for troubles or tribulations in this life.  We attempt to protect ourselves and our children from as many troubles as we are able.  For St. Rose they are not something to avoid, but to seek because of the graces received.  Have you ever heard the line, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."?  We become who we are by what we have survived. What we have lived through brings us each a step nearer to God, nearer to sharing the suffering Jesus endured for our salvation.  May we ever Praise His Name, and understand what St. Rose teaches us.  Her feast day is celebrated yearly on August 23rd.   kvs

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