Friday, September 24, 2010
Do not be offended if I say that having offspring just to continue the species, is something that... animals can do too. Jose Maria Eschriva Furrow
Monday, September 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
All that the holy fathers say refers ultimately to Scripture as a foundation, which gives us the vivid image of the great Mother of God as being closely attached to her divine Son and always sharing his lot.
It is important to remember that from the second century onwards the holy fathers have been talking of the Virgin Mary as the new Eve for the new Adam: not equal to him, of course, but closely joined with him in the battle against the enemy, which ended in the triumph over sin and death that had been promised even in Paradise. The glorious resurrection of Christ is essential to this victory and its final prize, but the blessed Virgin’s share in that fight must also have ended in the glorification of her body. For as the Apostle says: When this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the scripture will be fulfilled that says “Death is swallowed up in victory”.
So then, the great Mother of God, so mysteriously united to Jesus Christ from all eternity by the same decree of predestination, immaculately conceived, an intact virgin throughout her divine motherhood, a noble associate of our Redeemer as he defeated sin and its consequences, received, as it were, the final crowning privilege of being preserved from the corruption of the grave and, following her Son in his victory over death, was brought, body and soul, to the highest glory of heaven, to shine as Queen at the right hand of that same Son, the immortal King of Age
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Maximilian Kolbe in a moral decision that reached the furthest boundary, martyrdom, imitated Christ in the greatest act of love. He did so during a time when governments and ideologies under the guise of ordering and aiding humanity, suppressed, persecuted, and exterminated millions of people.
To all of us today he is what counters the self absorbed, self centered, narcissistic society. Self giving is the true essence of love, it is the "stuff" that God is made of. We should closely examine those who would be willing to cross that line, far enough to give their life for another. Can we give half as much?
Can we show compassion for those in need, those hurting, those who fail at every day living, those who disappoint us, those who hurt us, those who don't look like us, those who don't think like us, those who are hungry, those who are lonely, those who cry out in desperation, those who no one hears? If you look around those people are near you everyday in your life. How far are you willing to go to serve those in need?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
O Mary Dear Mother, how much I love thee! and yet in reality how little. Tho dost teach me what I ought to know, for thiou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus.
Dearly beloved Mother, how close to god thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee.
Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus, the grace of loving thee. Amen
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Read Father Barron's take.
By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, of whom it was said,“Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol."
Faith is never a blind leap. Faith is a trust and movement - always a response of the will to God's call. We trust in the certitude that God is always true. Those who choose to walk in faith, walk with God. His faithfulness has been ever present from Abraham to those who seek Him today. Seek the Faith of our Fathers.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
If you read the above passage only in a strict literal sense you would do two things: 1) make God out to be less than He really is. The word "rested" is of course silly when applied to a Being who is beyond the realm of matter. 2) You would miss what is really being said here: the passage contrasts the difference between creating and not-creating. Creating is done strictly by God, He literally "created" the universe out of nothing. We humans do not have anything comparable to that since all our personal creating has to start with something - a painter; paint, a potter; clay, even a philosopher starts with an idea. Another point to remember is that God is outside the realm of time. The author who is divinely inspired by God, but a human being can only describe the events in a sequence because we humans live within the realm of time. Time is the measurement of change - thus the author writes creation takes place over a week - 6 days to be precise and on the 7th day, God is not creating.(when we are not working, we are resting).
So what is the point here? God contrasts creating and not creating by declaring that when He is not creating we are to consider that time Holy. Holy not because of anything man has done but Holy because everything that God did. Thus we humans, in our task of creating, (we are co-creators in human life)that is living our lives, describe this time as work (not just in the sense of Capitalistic work of producing). We are engaged in human things, things that are done for man by man. The word for that is "liturgy" (translates to people's work or public works). All things beyond (the non-creating by God) are Holy and thus man has a choice - continue the work of man or join God in His work, His liturgy, which is the ultimate reason God created us. We call this worship - and as Catholics there is the Mass. The Liturgy of the Word (Sacred Scripture -God's Word) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist - God's gift to humanity, His only begotten Son, The Word Incarnate, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus. In my humble opinion our understanding of life can only be truly appreciated if we see ourselves in relationship with God the Creator. He is the Creator and we are the created.
Friday, August 6, 2010
For Jesus close circle this encounter was to include a brief display of His glory. Oh, to have been there and witnessed His radiance. Jesus demonstrates in a lesson in salvation history, that he was united to Old Law and fulfilled the Prophesies, yet He was something more, more brilliant, the true Light from true Light. We may never have an encounter here on earth like the Transfiguration, but in prayer God exposes His true beauty in small doses. These grace moments have been experienced by even the least of us. The veil between heaven and earth is lifted when we encounter God through the Eucharist. We can only witness this by being prayer and receptive to His grace and to desire an encounter with Him. Jesus took his disciples up the mountain to pray, He seeks that you make that journey too.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
True prayer which absorbs the whole individual benefits not so much from the solitude of the desert as from interior recollection.
Do not be discouraged. However unworthy the person is, however imperfect the prayer turns out to be, if it is offered with humility and perseverance, God always hears it.
Our Lord sent out his disciples to preach, and when they came back he gathered them together and invited them to go with him to a desert place where they could rest... What marvelous things Jesus would ask them and tell them! Well, the Gospel is always relevant to the present day.
How lovable is the scene of the Annunciation. How often we have meditated on this! Mary is recollected in prayer. She is using all her senses and her faculties to speak to God. It is in prayer that she comes to know the divine Will. And with prayer she makes it the life of her life. Do not forget the example of the Virgin Mary.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
"You cannot please both God and the world at the same time, They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions."
"I throw myself at the foot of the Tabernacle like a dog at the foot of his Master."
"Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil. Fertilize the soil ever so richly, it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains."
St. Jean Vianney pray for us.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Faith is not a blind leap as some have suggested. Faith does not require you to believe something that is contrary to Natural Law or to logic. When Jesus tests Peter on the water, it is Peter who first asks Jesus "command me to come to you on the water" Peter is asking is this as reasonable thing, given that Jesus could do it. The point of this is not that we are going to be able to cross the oceans and the seas in our Nike sandals. What Jesus is asking is this: can you respond to my call? You may not be asked to walk on water but rather to be there for someone in need, or to be a mother or father, or teach, or to support a family, to be a missionary to the poor, or give your life entirely as a priest. It is reasonable to consider that we all have some vocation (the word means calling), and the one calling us is Jesus. Are you able to hear His call? Are you listening or is His voice drowned out by the noise of the material world. In my humble opinion, the most significant action one can take in one's life, after of course having faith, is to listen carefully for the call of Jesus, so that your gifts contribute to His Kingdom, the Body of Christ, and you fulfill your life's calling.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and yet to another who has not labored over it, he must leave property.
This also is vanity and a great misfortune.
For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun?
All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation;
even at night his mind is not at rest.
This also is vanity.
In the frantic pace of the modern society we labor for things that are of no value, to whom it really matters. You get older and you don't have the energy or time to play with all toys you've accumulated, or perhaps your health robs you of those things too. What about those people who have had their life savings lost by unscrupulous people like Bernard Madoff who stole billions of dollars, or Enron and the Stanford Group?
Jesus the Wise Teacher warns us today " Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”
The saints, whose lives are the examples by which we may learn, never put much emphasis on the material stuff of this world. Once you have tasted the sweetness of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the riches of this world pale by comparison. Work for the true treasure - God's Kingdom.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Mark Shea has a very good post in the National Catholic Register The question is posed "Can one choose belief? This is a good question because in our secular world choosing is akin to a right. And equally important is to understand that Catholicism is not merely a choice, like choosing where to shop, or what diet to follow, or exercise program. Shea writes:
"Can one choose belief?"
"Yes. But it’s a particular kind of choosing. Not shutting your eyes and willing to yourself to believe what your intellect knows to be self-contradictory nonsense (that’s insane). But choosing to believe the possibility that the God who transcends (not contradicts) reason has spoken in Christ Jesus. It is, at the very least, worth checking out the possibility."
"A Christian is, in fact, free to suppose that even the oddest religion is partly right, and that there is a rather complex hierarchy of truth which can grant to other religious and philosophical traditions all sorts of real perceptions of truth (rather like the insightful Hindu tale of the blind men and the elephant). Christianity, for instance, made extensive use of Plato in trying to articulate the Faith to the Greco-Roman world, just as it honored the oracles of Judaism in making its appeal to Jews. You can see this happening already in the book of Acts. It also, of course, draws sharp distinctions between itself and other religious traditions. But the point is that the Church never has to pretend “We alone are solely right and everybody else is completely wrong.” Atheism paints itself into this corner with alarming frequency, which is why it tends to emit the constant rhetoric about how its adherents are, to use Sagan’s charming self-flattery, a “candle in the dark”. Only the One True Church of Rationalistic Science can save us all. "
Shea also compares Christianity to Islam and makes several good points. I advise you to read the post from the link above.
We must always be free to discuss why faith in Jesus Christ is a very reasonable thing to do. We must be prepared to make the case why it is a good choice to live as Christ taught us and to seek to be holy. "The Catholic Church" is, as G K Chesterton wrote: "It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age."
Anonymous said... please pray with us!
for the healing of Jordan R.'s cancer through the intercession of cardinal can thuan, pray for us!
I would ask anybody out there if you read this to stop and say a prayer for Jordan. Cardinal Thuan was a remarkable man who loved Jesus so much, so much that the Eucharist is what sustained him in a North Vietnamese prison for 13 years.
I would like to share a story I just came across on this website called "The Human Marvels Presenting Peculiar People" There are stories of curious people, many are side show people with unusual physical attributes. The author of this website sees the inspiration that lies behind these people. One such story is Kittie Smith. Kittie was an ordinary girl, living with her sister and two older brothers, when her mother died and her alcoholic father began to become abusive. In a horrible act of cruelty, the father literally burned her arms off, but please read to see the rest of the story (as the late Paul Harvey used to say) Kittie Smith -The Armless Dynamo
Thursday, July 29, 2010
How does one abide in Christ and Christ in him?
Anybody who can read Sacred Scriptures can know this revelation?
How does the Divine reside in you and you reside in the Divine?
This is necessary for eternal life, so it is an important question. In fact so important that Jesus said we could do nothing without Him. Nothing!
So how does one have the Omnipotent, the Almighty, the Everlasting King, the Prince of Peace, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Resurrection and the Life abide in him and he abide in Jesus the Lord?
St. John, the One Whom Jesus Loved, tells us very clearly?
"I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. " John 15:1-5
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day."
"For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him." John 6:51-56
In Ignatian contemplation, one places oneself in the middle of a story. God's story to be precise and uses their child like imagination to "see" what God is saying to them personally. Here are some thoughts on this process:
This can be a very useful means of touching and feeling something spiritual to your being and can open up to thoughts and memories about an area of your life that has been neglected or is seeking more. God's grace can move you, enlighten you, aid in desiring to know Him. It is good to practice this exercise from time to time.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
- But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you.
- But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let no one among you be made to suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer.But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name.
- Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ (Jesus) will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little.
- To him be dominion forever. Amen. (1Peter)
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Father Barron said "your life is not about you." Those few words are significant in understanding many things about our Catholic faith and in many ways unlock the door to spiritual awareness and lead to path directly to Jesus Christ. Let's look at the significance of those words.
1. We acknowledge that there exists something or someone beyond ourselves, who is far more significant and important. Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence.
2. The most natural reaction which one can reason is this: "then what is it about?" - it begs inquiry, it seeks philosophical understanding beyond the most obvious sensory object that we know - ourselves
3. We begin to be "other-centered," the cosmos is far more expansive than our own interior self. We are more open to the larger and less concerned with the smaller things. This is can only lead to a greater awareness and understanding of the world and others.
4. We begin to take a genuine interest in others, their importance increases. We can see clearly who are neighbor is. We are not distracted by are own wants, we are not blinded by our own ambitions. We can begin to live as Christ taught us in the Beatitudes.
5.When your life is about you - you are reactive, you seek things that benefit you, give you pleasure, give you power, increase your importance or significance. You conversely ignore what does not benefit you, give you pleasure, or empowers you. This is a narrow road, like a horse with "blinders" on
6.When Christ said to "die to your self: he was in essence saying "live to a world where My Father is king, a world of awe and wonder, a world of diversity, a world of others, of knowledge and understanding, of beauty and possibility, a world full of life."
This brings me to the topic of this post: foolishness - most people cannot recognize the beauty of self-sacrifice, of living for others, of self-denial. This is precisely why true Christianity looks so foolish to the world. This is why Christ looks foolish. Humility is the key to opening the heart to Jesus. Paul recognized how others saw him when he preached Christ's Gospel:
"For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe."
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness."
"We are fools for Christ's sake, but we are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are in honor, but we in disrepute."
- "Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him."
- He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?" They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?"
- And he replied to them, "What sort of things?" They said to him, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him.
- But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place.
- Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see."
- And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"
- Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.
- And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Jesus, I firmly believe that You are present within me as God and Man, to enrich my soul with graces and to fill my heart with the happiness of the blessed. I believe that You are Christ, the Son of the Living God!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
I like to use the image of doors. If we look at a door in a philosophical sense, the idea of a door, we develop some concepts: a door opens, a door opens into one space and out to another, it is both an entrance and an exit, there are two sides of a door.When a door is closed, only one side is knowable, the side that you are on. In translating that image to our lives, and to our Faith, we can see that it is necessary to explore some important areas of understanding:
1. How do I discover God's revelation, His hidden mysteries?
2. How does it take place? How does He reveal Himself?
3. What are the means to knowing it? What do I have to do?
4. Will I even understand it when it happens?
Conversely, the other side of the door:
1. How much of myself have I shown God?
2. How do I fully and openly reveal myself to Him?
3. What obstacles are in place that hinders me from revealing my true self?
4. Do I consider how I react or growth as a result of His Divine revelation to me?
Now this is getting complex. Without going into a great deal of explanation, I would say we need a means of tracking the daily occurrences in which we encounter God and ourselves and we also need a neutral but skilled party who can guide us.
The first means was developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola and is known as the Examen - for a good explanation click here: The Examen Prayer. The second means would be to go on a retreat, and with good spiritual direction explore how you can better equip yourself in your quest to walk with Jesus.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Lord Jesus Christ, I firmly believe that You are present in the Blessed Sacrament as true God and true Man, with Your Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. My Redeemer, and my Judge, I adore Your Divine Majesty together with the Angels and Saints. I believe, O Lord; increase my faith.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Jesus, my God, I love you with my whole heart and above all things, because You are the one supreme Good and infinitely perfect Being.
You have given Your life for me, a poor sinner, and in Your mercy You have even offered Yourself as food for my soul. My God, I love You. Inflame my heart so that I may love You more.
He was born with the interesting name of Julius Caesar, when he was just 16 he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in Venice and received the name of Lawrence. He completed his studies of philosophy and theology at the University of Padua and was ordained a priest at 23.
He traveled throughout Europe wrote a commentary on the Book of Genesis, and argued against Martin Luther in the several treatises he wrote. St. Lawrence also wrote some eight hundred sermons in Latin, which fill eleven of his fifteen huge Opera Omnia volumes, published in a critical edition from 1928 to 1956. He died on the same day of his birth, July 22 at the age of 60 years old in Lisbon, Portugal.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Act of Desire
Jesus my God and my all, my soul longs for You. My heart yearns to receive You in Holy Communion. Come, Bread of Heaven and Food of Angels, to nourish my soul and rejoice my heart. Come, most lovable Friend of my soul, to inflame me with such love that I may never again be separated from you.
The Greek Fathers, as a whole, distinguish the three persons: the "sinner" of Luke 7:36-50; the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Luke 10:38-42 and John 11; and Mary Magdalen.
Mary Magdalene is for the Church the archetype of the pentinent - a person who goes astray, fallen, in sin, that turns to the Lord for forgiveness and as a result she becomes a close friend. That is a beautiful picture of God's mercy.
- "But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him."
- When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" John 20:11-17
- "On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him." John 20:1-2
- "Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them." Luke 24:9-12
- When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. Mark 16:10-12
- "After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
- His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow." Matthew 28:1-3
Monday, July 19, 2010
The Word of God is powerful. It is important to hear the word of God, in a sense the Word of God is always a call. The questions becomes what do we do when we hear the word of God.
Jesus tells us in the parable of the sower:
Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Our Faith must be viewed in terms of Salvation History. Our faith is the greatest love story ever told. It started in a most perfect garden with the original children of God. The name Adam literally means son of God. Throughout the history God showed his love and mercy to those who were given a Covenant. Man though, chose not to follow His ways and finally God made a Covenant with David promising that his kingdom would be everlasting. He sent from the seed of Jesse, His Only Beloved Son, the Word Incarnate to be the most perfect sacrifice and establish a new and everlasting covenant.
Suffering is an essential part of salvation. We are all part of the Mystical Body of Christ. St. Paul understands that the suffering he endures serves as a way to be like Christ, as well as it being for Christ’s sake. Paul says: “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his suffering, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11)
Our suffering can serve to advance the salvation of our fellow brethren. Our suffering is never in vain. We are never alone in our suffering if we join Christ in His.