If You Volunteer To God to Suffer, Be Sure That's What You Want!!
I know this is a very rare type of thinking today especially in this world of ours where most people cringe at the thought of suffering. But having been brought up at a very early age with strong Catholic roots, reading the lives of the saints, meditating on heaven and hell, and the just punishments of God to those who do evil things and disobey Him, I found myself at the age of fifteen, making an act of consecration to Jesus through Mary, which is talked about thoroughly in the book "True Devotion to Mary" by St. Louis De Montfort.
St. Louis De Montfort was an extraordinary person, who found great enlightenment regarding the role of Mary in our lives. He wrote many books including the Secret of the Rosary.
I was a happy kid, and had a pretty normal life, the youngest of ten children, and from a very young age, I wanted to become a saint. I don't want to honor myself by saying this, but it's just the way I felt. I had a strong desire to be good and through my Catholic faith, I wanted to obey God as much as possible. Most of this though, was because my mother was very spiritual and taught my sister and I the Catholic faith from a young age.
By reading books from a young age, also, of the extraordinary lives of the saints, and their closeness to God, and also reading accounts of damned souls appearing in the book "Hell and How to Avoid Hell" by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, and also "Purgatory Explained" by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, I learned early on in life, that I wanted to devote myself to God.
When I learned of the act of total consecration to Jesus through Mary, I did not know what might befall me if I took that consecration, I had no idea of the possible suffering it might send my way. But as I say, I wanted to be close to God and so I did make that act of consecration, which is detailed in the book, "True Devotion to Mary."
Mary is not God nor should be considered to be, but you see, she leads us to Her Divine Son, because she was the "vessel" God chose to be born in, she is often called "House of Gold" as she was a "tabernacle of the Most High." She basically had an extremely important role in our salvation, because she accepted St. Gabriel's offer to become the mother of Jesus, saying, "Be it done unto me according to thy word." Basically, she accepted what was to happen and maybe she didn't know how difficult it would be to see her son die on the cross for us. It is difficult to even watch "The Passion of the Christ." Imagine being there and being His mother, how difficult would it be to watch the child you bore, loved, and cared for be so unjustly treated, mocked, beaten, and killed.
When we meditate on Christ's Passion and Death, which is simple to do, if we apply the various means such as the Stations of the Cross, and many detailed accounts especially in the Revelations of St. Bridget, (in the blue prayer book below) who was said to have seen Jesus in an apparition, (I know it sounds strange,) and given fifteen prayers, which tell in detail the sufferings of Christ and how to honor them, by prayer. You would become inspired, and amazed, and have tears of joy and humility thinking how much God loved us and what he did for us. It's truly amazing. No ordinary man could suffer those torments. Most would have died after being scourged. But it is revealed, that Jesus was given the ability to take on that extreme unfathomable suffering, and though it would cause any ordinary person to die say a thousand deaths or more (considering he died for every soul or person who lived, was living, and would live) that it had to be the most unimaginable death ever.
Thinking on these things would motivate many souls to want to "participate in God's suffering" in some small way, to be able to understand what it meant for him to suffer, and would be honored to participate if we knew He would let us, to partake and be allowed to apply this prayer and our daily crosses which we are given without asking, but some would want to suffer to help convert sinners and save souls by offering it up.
Anyways, not long after the consecration, I underwent two decades of emotional pain and mental suffering. I never imagined that that would happen to me as a result of offering my life to Jesus, but it did. It could be a coincidence, I don't know.
When my mental and emotional suffering ended, which was when I found the right medicine for my condition, which is actually hormonal and not bipolar, I was suddenly feeling unexpectedly, that I almost missed the pain, because I felt really close to God. After a period of such pain, I would get on my knees and pray to God for help and experienced many times an intense consolation and joy.
This is the joy described in the bible when Jesus says, "My yoke is easy, my burden light." It means that when we apply our little trials or things that happen in our daily lives, they become less of a burden and even a joy, strange as that may sound!
In Holy Communion, where Jesus is actually in my body, and I am a "vessel" and I must keep myself clean and respect my body and I must also try to see Jesus in others and try to let them see Jesus in me.
I will close with a quote from the book, "The Way of Salvation and of Perfection" by St Alphonsus Liguori:
Lord, who is like to Thee? And what good things, God! can be comparable to Thee, O infinite goodness? But how could I have turned my back upon Thee, to give myself to those vile things which sin held out to me? O Jesus, Thy precious blood is my hope. Thou hast promised to hear him who prays to Thee. I ask Thee not for the goods of this world: I ask Thee for the pardon of those sins which I have committed against Thee, and for which I am sorry above every other evil. I ask Thee for perseverance in Thy grace until the end of my life. I ask Thee for the gift of Thy holy love; my soul is enamored of Thy goodness; hear me, O Lord! Only grant that I may love Thee both here and hereafter, and to all things else do with me as Thou pleases. My Lord, and my only good, suffer me not to be any more separated from Thee! Mary, Mother of God, do thou also listen to me, and obtain for me that I may ever belong to God, and that God may be my inheritance forever. Amen!
Which of these scenes impresses you most?
Which scene did you find most moving?
My favorite video
These videos were really hard for me to watch. I was surprised, I hadn't seen them in a long time, and I used to feel really inspired by them, but now I just feel some kind of pain. It's very difficult to watch.
I do like meditating though, and again, I will post the booklet with the St. Bridget Prayers, and the other books. Thank you for reading. And of course, may God bless you.