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The Ultimate Paradox

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Jesus is raised to Glory on a cross.  He is bruised and battered, bloody, dying and then dead on a cross.  In that is His Glorious Victory.  It is the ultimate paradox in Catholicism and our spirituality.

We too in our sufferings, united to those of Jesus, are raised to Glory.  In our sufferings united to Jesus, we are a witness to life’s meaning and the ultimate paradox.

The Cross goes ahead of us as our symbol.  It states that life does have meaning; that at life’s lowest point in suffering, there is meaning and victory.  There is Glory.

The Ultimate Paradox






 “No one goes to heaven in a horse-drawn carriage.” It’s necessary somehow, to earn one’s way. But let us understand that everything is grace; paradise can never be “merited.” It is Christ alone who has earned it for everyone through the narrow passage of His Passion and death on the Cross that led to the joy of the Resurrection. We are given the opportunity to accept it through the trials of life. And this is so for everyone. We read, for example, that some saints endured extraordinary sufferings. But the Lord does not demand this from everyone…………….

………………….Each of us endures his tribulations, his ordinary and his extraordinary difficulties. To be tried in body and in spirit, entrusting oneself totally to God, is a true and proper test of faith, where love and fidelity to the Lord are given freely and not for some advantage. In brief, love for God has no other reason but love. Is it not also true of human love? Bernard of Clairvaux has illuminating words on the subject:

“Love is sufficient of itself; it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself.

It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself.

Its profit lies in its practice; I love because I love.” …………..

…………………..Those persons who experience spiritual disturbances suffer from a unique form of suffering: in the case of physical illnesses there are medical tests, and if doctors are able to understand the causes, they can make prognoses and often find suitable remedies at the right moment and proceed with the attempts. In the case of the sufferings caused by demons, no human or scientifically verifiable explanation exists. We are in the field of the invisible: no two cases are similar; each has its own story, and in each one it is very difficult, if not impossible, to know how things were developed. What is certain is that the interior suffering is always very great, and often not understood, at least at the beginning, not even by those who are around the afflicted person, such as relatives and friends. This situation often leads to great frustration and solitude in those who experience it. In the case of torments caused by demons, we find ourselves before a mystery that can be confronted solely through total abandonment to the will of God. It is indispensable to turn to Him, since no human cure exists other than the supernatural cure and the knowledge that comes from faith that one’s life, even in paradoxical situations like these, “is hidden with Christ in God” (cf. Col. 3:3).

Thus, God’s “prescriptions,” authentic instruments of grace, become tangible signs that nurture faith and hope even when one confronts the most inexplicable situations. Many persons who suffer from spiritual maladies, and whom I have encountered over the years, confirm this each and every day.




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