These Catholic Saints suffered rejection by their peers, discrimination because of sex, and how they rose above all of it to
become movers and shakers of the world.
Mother Angelica wrote this about Saints and Suffering.
"If there is any subject that needs to be addressed in this day and age, it's suffering! That is precisely why this particular book is so necessary. Many of us shirk from suffering and run from the Cross. In the face of suffering, how many of us can muster up the courage and faith to proclaim with Saint Andrew, the Apostle, "O Good Cross, made beautiful by the Body of the Lord: long have I desired you, ardently have I loved you, unceasingly have I sought you out; and now you are ready for my eager soul. Receive me from among men and restore me to my Master - so that by means of you He may receive me, who by means of You dying redeemed me"?
To the obstinate and irreligious, suffering is a cruel mystery. But to those sincerely striving for union with God, suffering is a coveted treasure. To prove this point, we can look to the Prophets, the Apostles, and the Saints. The Prophets considered suffering to be a call from God to repentance, while Apostles saw it as "a happy privilege" to imitate their Master. The Saints ardently desired a share in the Passion of Christ and thought of His Cross as a rare and beautiful diamond. But above all, to discover the true value of suffering, we look to Mary, the Queen of All Saints. It was her silent "fiat" at the Foot of the Cross that revealed the hidden grandeur of every cross.
If we desire holiness, we-like all the holy ones who have gone before us-must follow in the blood-stained Footprints of Our Savior. To do this, we must accept our crosses with love. Let us not be afraid to boldly proclaim: "Jesus, I accept all of the sufferings in my life with the same love that You accepted the pain in Your Life. I do not understand Your Plan, but I trust Your Love and my love reaches out to You with the hope of being lost in Your embrace!"
Stretched out upon the Cross, Jesus' arms are opened wide to receive us-"And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32). At that moment, a moment of "great weakness", the act of Redemption was wrought. At that moment of humiliation and infamy, all men of faith obtained the strength to endure the sufferings that the Father permitted in their lives.
Jesus continually tells us that the cross is a vital part of our lives: "If anyone wants to be a follower of Mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). But along with this admonition, Our Lord assures us that we will never be abandoned under the weight of the cross: "Come to Me, all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Finally, Jesus exhorts us to recognize that our cross is truly a share in His Cross: "Shoulder My yoke and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart"(Matthew 11:29).
As we carry our cross, like Jesus, we sometimes tire and are in need of a "Simon of Cyrene" to help us along the way. Bob and Penny Lord have been just that to so many. Their praiseworthy ministry and inspiring books have steadied and strengthened many who were stammering under the weight of the cross. We are all indebted to Bob and Penny, for their tireless work to reestablish devotion and zeal in the hearts of the faithful. They work in the midst of the darkness of the world, in order to bring to this darkness the Light of the Timeless Truth, Who is Jesus Christ. For this,-and on behalf of all who have been touched by their example, their writings, their zeal, and their love-I want to thank them."
Mother Mary Angelica, PCPA
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