“Your life hangs by a thread. Of calamities you are the cause – the scarcity of game, a fire, famine or an epidemic… you are the reasons, and at any time a savage may burn your cabin down or split your head,”
These were the words of a missionary in Canada, now the Patron Saint. A French Jesuit priest, St Jean de Brébeuf laboured for 24 years after arriving there at the age of 32.
Truly this is the stuff of saints, in imitation of Christ, for who has suffered more than He? Each time one meditates on the Passion, one can only begin to see that our sufferings are never on the same level of what our Lord suffered for our sake. How quickly we groan under the burden of a seemingly minor event, and how quickly we feel overwhelmed. Yes, our minds and our bodies reject pain and suffering, craving for comfort and pleasures. But for the grace of God, where would we be?
To would-be missionaries and to all of us who desire to grow in our spiritual life, Brébeuf has this to say. We ask him if it is worth it. We want to know how we will benefit from it. Wherein the gain?
The answer is: “There is no gain but this — that what you suffer shall be of God.”
May God help us!