“Self-giving is the first step along the road of sacrifice, joy, love, union with God. And thus, a whole life is filled with a holy madness which makes us encounter happiness where human logic would only see denial, suffering, pain.” (St. Josemaria Escrivá)

Even after two thousand years, many do not understand the necessity of carrying one’s cross to follow Christ.  It certainly does not make any human sense at all, yet Fr. Escrivá simply validates what scripture tells us:  “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  (1 Cor. 1:18) 

The power of God!  How can it be that suffering is so entwined with our faith?  Why did God will it this way?  While the complete answer to that is known only to Him, surely part of it must be that there is true beauty in the struggle for holiness.  Seeing others conquer their difficult circumstances valiantly without giving in to self-pity, blaming others, self-obsession or bitterness is a beautiful witness and a cause for our joy.  Those who sink their feet firmly in the cement of their Christian faith and carry on cheerfully, standing up to the day-to-day blows life brings are living examples of the power of God.

Holy madness?  Perhaps, but St. Josemaria Escrivá would tell us a madness which, like love, takes over and consumes one to the point of bliss.  

St. Josemaria Escrivá, pray for us!