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Our weakness makes humanity most susceptible to divinity, because divinity has made itself susceptible to human weakness…..

Our weakness makes humanity most susceptible to divinity, because divinity has made itself susceptible to human weakness…..

Him I seek, who died for us:
him I desire, who rose again for our sake.
Permit me to be an imitator
of the Passion of my God. – St. Ignatius of Antioch

I was recently reading a meditation by 14th century German Dominican friar, Henry Suso. In his imaginative dialogue with Christ, Suso, after asking Jesus to share in his cross, receives a reply that gave me days worth of reflection. I include an excerpt of what I read at the end of this post.

The depth of intimacy each of us is invited to have with Christ, precisely in our hardships, has always been a source of great amazement for me. In fact, the more I spend time with the Catholic spiritual Tradition the more I see there is no close second rival to hard labor, hardship and suffering in granting us proximate access to the “deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:10). In particular, weakness and fragility make humanity most susceptible to divinity, because divinity has made itself susceptible to human weakness and fragility.

So I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Therefore I am content with weaknesses,
insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities
for the sake of Christ,
for whenever I am weak,
then I am strong. – 2 Cor. 12:9-10

Faith, hope and charity – that God-given triple portal into the Trinitarian abyss — receive their fullest expression, and come to perfection only in and through the cross of Christ, in which we are given a share.

In the darkness of faith, the surrender of hope and the self-sacrificial gift of love we dwell “in” Christ crucified, the locus of the vulnerability of God.

Per crucem ad lucem “through the cross to the light.”

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Christ to Suso:

Offer me yourself and everything that is yours
and do not take back what you offer.

You should abstain from unnecessary things,
and sometimes even from necessary ones.
And so you will have displayed the hands fixed to my cross.

Do what is good and bear the ills inflicted on you calmly.
Gather together your distracted soul and scattered thoughts
and make them secure in me, the highest Good.
And you have fixed your feet to the cross.

Do not allow the power of your body and soul
to grow weak with sloth, but strive to stretch them out
with total effort in my service after the manner of my arms.

When you are tired and worn out from any kind of work,
give thanks and bear it with patience,
and in a manful way restrain any movements of sensuality.
And so you will answer to the violence and weariness
that my legs suffered.

And so my flesh will flourish again
through the devout and reasonable mortification of your flesh,
and you will make for my back,
tortured by the affliction of the cross,
a sweet resting place
through your voluntary bearing of these different hardships.

Always have the soul that is weighed down by the body
lifted up to the Lord–present your bodily members to justice in sanctification,
just as you formerly used to present them to injustice.
Let your heart always be ready to bear all adversity for my name’s sake.
Thus, as a faithful disciple, spiritually crucified with his Lord,
and in a way sprinkled with the blood of compassion,
you will be made like me and lovable.

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He was wounded, Lamb of God, most holy.
He was despised, rejected.
Surely, surely He has borne our griefs.
All His stripes have healed us.
Thanks be to God.

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