The Gospel is pleasant to read; but putting it into practice provokes scandal among respectable people. The Gospel will not tolerate immobility, gives no guarantee of rest. He, the One who is the ‘sign of contradiction’, does not offer any sinecures: ‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!’
The history of Christ on earth, in twenty centuries, is a series of gallows, between the galleys and the pillory: we do not always see the the wave of hidden tears.
All the same, in the context of that sorrow and darkness, faith is worthwhile. Believing without seeing is worthwhile. It brings to mind His warning: Fear not, O you of little faith, I have overcome the world.
For a short while He disappears and we are in pain, left alone, but then he comes back. For mystics these dark nights end in a blazing eruption of sunshine. It is a trial: and whoever undergoes it with strength gains victory. It is a suffering that produces life: of a grain of wheat dying in the clods to bear fruit in the sunlight.
‘For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.’ (2 Cor. 1:50)
Those who welcome Jesus crucified, welcome suffering out of love: and just by doing that they do an act of love, and they find joy. We need training by the Holy Spirit for this.
And so existence takes on the appearance of a tough drama, with apparent defeats and appalling disillusionments: but we must resist. Nothing is wasted of what we give in suffering: the fruit of resisting in rationality and faith, with virility and charity, brings benefits both to the civil realm and to the spiritual realm, in which people become, also through this, the Social Body of the Mystical Christ.
We sow in tears, when we reap we rejoice.