I regret that I did not have the advantage of Father Brown’s scholarship and Mother Teresa’s personal witness to fall back on when as a young priest I first met devout Catholics who confided in me that they felt abandoned by God.
We are supposed to not just accept or be content with sufferings for our faith, but we should be glad and rejoice, not for their own sake, but because of Christ’s promise of the final victory in the Kingdom of Heaven.
This exhortation cannot be read in isolation. That is a danger that I frequently see when the Church issues a new document, even by the Pope. Some people will latch on to the new, thinking that this is all we need to read or know.
Our celebration is a pledge to unite men and women. It is a pledge to acknowledge our unity in the Risen Lord even at a time when our disunity is manifest whenever we read the daily newspaper or tune in the evening news.