Podcast en Español
But Catholics know why we love the saints.
We love the saints and are devoted to them as we love and are devoted to our fathers and mothers, to our brothers and sisters: that is, because we are always in communion with them, and they with us, and because they love us as only true sons and daughters, true servants, of God can love: with the very love of God himself.
I believe that of all the saints we admire and feel close to, we admire the martyrs the most, because they—so very human, and so vulnerable—suffer the ultimate price: in the service of God, in union with our Crucified Risen Lord, they are broken and sacrificed for the redemption of the world, inclu-ding, and especially, those who hated them, and those who hate that God is the Truth, the Only Truth, the Holy Truth.
Martyrs testify with their courage in suffering that the power of Christ’s Cross is at its core, by its very nature, the saving, redeeming, and sanctify-ing power of God himself. Where the world sees weakness, the suffering of martyrs brings forth into the world the power of God’s love; where the world sees defeat, they embody God’s victory over evil; and where the world is aggressive and violent, martyrs choose non-violence and see in the Cross of Christ God’s response to the sins of injustice, greed, and apathy.
Through the martyrs, God fills with love the void caused by sin.
If we accept the love of the Crucified-Risen Lord Jesus, this love indeed will fall like rain and snow into our suffering, be it illness, rejection, isolation of self due to poor self-image, and from it all his love will bring forth the most fertile fruits, the great fruits of generosity, tolerance, serenity, endurance, and courage—the courage to live as God has called us to live when He gave us our being: to live in union and solidarity with the world and each other, as we all grow and become what God has made us to be: His.
In the early church during the time of St. Peter and St. Paul there were Christians uncomfortable with the reality of a suffering Christ, a broken, re-jected Christ. They wanted a sovereign Christ, an almighty one that could transcend the reality of pain and suffering. But as. St. Paul explains to the Galatians and now to us: through the Cross of Christ, in Christ’s very reject-tion and brokenness, God has revealed—and continues to reveal—Himself, his true nature, his true power: God is humility, kindness, generosity, and compassion, not just sometimes, but always and everywhere.
If you suffer, let it be with Christ, in Christ, and for Christ. Let God, through his Son, our Crucified-Risen Lord, take your suffering and know it as He knows his Son, with love. Let God take your pain, your isolation or your sin and restore you to Life. May all the saints and martyrs assist you in your suffering.