By Katie Morroni
As I’ve written here before, I’m making my way through a study on suffering with my Endow group. It’s been a beautiful process.
I like to think I’m starting to understand what it means to be united in Christ’s suffering, especially when I’m sitting back and pondering it from a semi-academic perspective. It’s a very different thing to be in the midst of a problem that seems to have no solution and think, “Thank goodness I’m united to Christ and His suffering!”
For this reason, the seemingly simple words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta below spoke to me while completing a self-guided retreat, 33 Days to Morning Glory.
All too often, my reaction is like the woman she mentions: “Tell Jesus not to kiss me — to stop kissing me.” May each of us be open to better bearing our sufferings with grace, albeit the work of a lifetime.
“Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross, he has got his head bending down — he wants to kiss you — and he has both hands open wide — he wants to embrace you. He has his heart opened wide to receive you. Then when you feel miserable inside, look at the cross and you will know what is happening. Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that he can kiss you. Do you understand, brothers, sisters, or whoever you may be? Suffering, pain, humiliation — this is the kiss of Jesus. At times you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you. I once told this to a lady who was suffering very much. She answered, “Tell Jesus not to kiss me — to stop kissing me.” That suffering has to come that came in the life of Our Lady, that came in the life of Jesus — it has to come in our life also. Only never put on a long face. Suffering is a gift from God. It is between you and Jesus alone inside.” –Mother Teresa