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Finding Joy in the Cross: The Key to Abundant Life

December 22, 2020 28 min read
By Most Rev. Andrew Cozzens Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis
The Cross on Pensacola Beach

The following was delivered as the third annual Saint Hildegard Lecture on February 23, 2018, hosted by the University of Mary's Catholic Studies program. Bishop Andrew Cozzens spoke on the central role of the cross in every authentic Christian vocation and how embracing the cross is the gateway to a meaningful life.

First, I want to express my gratitude for the invitation to present this year’s St. Hildegard Lecture. I am humbled to be following in the footsteps of Bishop James Conley and Bishop Daniel Flores, both of whom I greatly admire. I am also honored to explore one of those themes central to Catholic Studies. As you know, Catholic Studies is a project that explores the relationship of faith and reason, the role of beauty and art in culture, and the mission to transform the world. It is in this last theme, the mission to transform the world, that my remarks will be primarily focused today, although they will also touch on the issue of culture.

I wanted to focus my remarks on the topic of vocation, especially in light of the Synod that our Holy Father will be hosting in Rome this Fall. The Synod is on the topic of “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” The Holy Father has invited us all to reflect upon this topic. My reflections carry my insights from my 20-plus years of ministry directly to and with young people, as both a priest and a bishop. I have always worked with young people directly in my ministry, and although I have not counted, I’m sure I have personally accompanied more than 100 young people as they have discerned and gone through formation for their religious or priestly vocation. I believe this has given me some insight into the vocational needs of our young people today, although my remarks should not be seen as applying only to those who have a consecrated vocation. My remarks are for all those who want to say “yes” to the Christian vocation.

I believe we do have a vocation crisis, but it is a crisis that prevents our young people from fully saying “yes” to God’s plan. Why? Because the plan of Jesus Christ for my life or your life always involves the cross, just as Jesus said it would. Thus in order to understand God’s plan for my life, I must learn how to see the cross as a gift. Saint John Paul II said, “It is in the contemplation of the Crucified Christ that all vocations find their inspiration.”1 All vocations – the vocation to married life, the vocation to every form of consecrated life, and certainly the vocation to the priesthood – if truly Christian vocations, are inspired by contemplating Christ crucified. Why? Because a Christian vocation is, in its nature, a way to give one’s life away, in imitation of our Lord who made a complete gift of his life on the cross. St. John Paul II made this clear in his writing on the theology of the body. He pointed out that we were made to give ourselves away. He said every vocation was a form of nuptial love.

What is nuptial love? It is “that love in which the human person becomes a gift and – through this gift – fulfills the very meaning of his being and existence.”2 Whether you are called to the priesthood, consecrated life, or marriage, you are called to make a gift of yourself for your spouse in imitation of the spousal love of Christ on the cross. Depending on the formation we have received in our lives, we will be more or less prepared to say “yes” to this life of self-gift. Unfortunately, I believe that the way most young people are being formed in our current culture is hindering them from saying “yes” to their vocation. This is the crisis I want to address.

My remarks come from what I consider my main area of expertise. Besides being a teacher of theology and a pastor, perhaps the main gift I think God has given me is being a spiritual director. I always secretly hoped I could get a job as a priest where I would simply direct retreats and help people grow in their spiritual lives. I still hope to do that when I retire as a bishop (in 26 short years). I believe very strongly in this work of spiritual direction, which is the work of helping people surrender to the plan and the action of God in their lives, so that Christ can live in them to the full. This is the work of helping people to grow in holiness and to become saints. Saints are simply those who have learned through much prayer and suffering to surrender their lives fully to God. When we do that, God does great things with our lives. His plans for us are always greater than we could imagine.

I would like to add that this is the goal of the Catholic Studies Program. It is impossible to give this lecture today for the Catholic Studies Program at the University of Mary without thinking of the founder and father of that program who tragically died from cancer just one week ago, and was buried just three days ago. Dr. Don Briel, whom I was privileged to have as a professor, taught thousands of young people this truth, which he expressed in an interview just before he died. He said, “I think the modern problem for Christians is not that they have an exalted sense of their importance, but they don’t have a deep enough sense of their importance. I mean, if this is true that each of us as persons is responsible for the achievement of the plan of salvation, then I hope that Catholic Studies has inspired its students to realize that greatness in the lives they’re leading as well as the work they’re doing.”3 I hope to inspire you to realize the greatness of your life!

...the plan of Jesus Christ for my life or your life always involves the cross, just as Jesus said it would. Thus in order to understand God’s plan for my life, I must learn how to see the cross as a gift.

First, I will express briefly what I believe is the main challenge to accepting this call from the Lord to greatness. I am referring to our fear, which is rooted in despair. It is the fear of giving up the security that my life and plans offer me because I am afraid of losing myself, forgetting that Jesus said the one who loses his life finds it. Second, against this fear, I would like to propose that the key to happiness in life is not avoiding suffering but finding meaning in my suffering. Suffering with meaning allows me to make a gift of myself, which is what actually leads to true joy. And finally, I’d like to talk practically about transforming the reality of suffering in our lives and give some examples of how we might do that. The whole purpose of my comments will be to invite you to the adventure that life offers so that finding joy in the cross is the key to abundant life in you.

So let’s look at the fear that faces many young people today. There is a lot of research out there about millennials and their particular issues. I do think that we have to admit that millennials have grown up in a culture that is different than any other generation experienced in the history of the world. Pope Francis has said, “Ours is not an age of change but a change of ages.”4 Of course, technology has changed many things for your generation, and we are still debating the effects of this, even on your brains.5 Here in the United States, you have grown up in the most materially comfortable culture in history. The effect of this materialism that grips our culture is difficult to underestimate. We have more at our fingertips than any other persons have had in history. You have been immersed in a culture that is almost entirely centered on material realities. The Lord himself warned us that money was the root of all evil.6 Pope Francis has spoken consistently about the danger of the blindness that comes from materialism, because it causes us to live self-focused lives.7 Add to this a society steeped in relativism and false ideas of freedom, which you are well aware of because of your education, and you have a very troubling recipe.

The result is actually a generation of people who are used to immediate satisfaction and yet quite insecure when they come up against real challenges. Archbishop Charles Chaput recently summed up this generation by quoting William Deresiewicz at Yale University, who said the current generation of young people are “smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.”8 Interestingly, this is not only something religious people see. Simon Sinek, a self-professed agnostic, makes very similar assessments of the millennial generation.9

All of this has an effect on the way millennials relate to Jesus Christ and his plan for their lives. If one grows up in this culture in which instant gratification and material comfort lead one to be focused on self, it will be difficult to understand Jesus’ message of self-gift. Christian Smith, the great sociologist from the University of Notre Dame, studied this by interviewing over 3,000 teenagers. He says that if you had to summarize the religious life of the average young person today you would have to say they are “Moralistic Therapeutic Deists.”10 What does that mean? They believe in a God who created everything and who wants them to be good, nice, and fair to each other (God is moralistic). They believe that the central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself (religion is therapeutic). They believe that God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life, except when you have to solve a problem (they are deists). And by the way, they believe that good people go to heaven when they die. It could be summarized this way: young people are religious because it makes them feel good about themselves.

Notice how far this is from the Gospel of Jesus? Jesus said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”11 Now I know that the young people at the University of Mary are above average, but my experience is that even many good Catholic young people approach God and their vocation with this kind of naiveté. They basically believe that God’s will for them is whatever they believe will make them happy. They may even find ways to describe what they want to do in spiritual language and set out to do it, thinking God will bless it. But all this hides their deeper fear. They are really afraid of surrendering everything to Jesus Christ because they are afraid of losing their lives.

In this way, they are like the rich young man in the Gospel.12 They want to follow Jesus, but they fear losing the things which they believe will bring them happiness. Just like the rich young man, this fear is rooted in despair. The Gospel is clear that when Jesus asked him to sell all his possessions and come follow him, the rich young man went away sad. He did not believe that there could be joy beyond the life he understood and had in his control. He could not surrender what he had clung to for security, because he did not believe in the absolute love which was waiting for him. He could not see reality right before him, in the person of Jesus, because he was blinded by the things of this world.

I would like to propose that the key to happiness in life is not avoiding suffering but finding meaning in my suffering. Suffering with meaning allows me to make a gift of myself, which is what actually leads to true joy.

Let’s be clear. The vision of the world that our culture has presented to the millennial generation is not reality. Reality breaks through the self-focused culture, which believes that happiness is about finding everything that is right for me. In reality, I am a creature and God is the center of the universe, not me. God has created me for a purpose, and if I want to be happy, I must discover the purpose for which God has created me. This is the goal of your education in Catholic Studies. It should expand your imagination so that you can begin to believe in something greater than the limited sight of happiness our culture has to offer. It should invite you to encounter, through art, history, and theology the one who created you and desires your happiness. When I truly encounter this person, who is the truth when I realize who Jesus Christ is and that he knows me, he loves me and he has a plan for my life – then I am gradually but insistently invited to dethrone myself from the center of the universe and put Jesus Christ at the center. I am invited to lay down everything I have at his feet and to stand before him with empty hands and say, “Lord, I want what you want with my life and nothing else.”

This is the moment when vocation discernment can begin. Here in this moment which St. Ignatius calls “indifference,”13 and the saints call “total surrender,” I am ready for God’s plan. I don’t pretend that this surrender is easy. It usually involves healing the places in myself where I doubt the reality of God’s love. It normally means times of purification as I seek to break free from sinful habits. It often involves painful tears as I surrender to him my fears and doubts about his love and the false securities I have clung to. But gradually, as I grow closer to him, I begin to discover that the meaning he gives to life is so much greater than the meaning the world offers, even if his plan involves suffering. And this is true in every generation, not only ours.

Here it would be worthwhile to quote a passage from Bl. John Henry Newman, which Msgr. Shea quoted earlier this week at the funeral of Dr. Don Briel, because what Newman wrote almost 200 years ago applies aptly to your generation, too. Newman said, “A great number of men live and die without reflecting at all upon the state of things in which they find themselves. They take things as they come, and follow their inclinations as far as they have the opportunity. They are guided mainly by pleasure and pain, not by reason, principle, or conscience; and they do not attempt to interpret this world, to determine what it means, or to reduce what they see and feel to system.”14 And then Newman goes on to propose that there really is only one system that can make sense of the world. There is only one thing that can reveal life’s true meaning: the cross of Christ. In fact, he argues that learning to embrace the cross is the key to Christianity and the only thing that will lead to true and lasting happiness. As Newman says, “The great and awful doctrine of the cross of Christ, is the heart of religion.”15 Why is this the case? It is the case because in every life there is suffering, and the cross teaches me to find meaning in my suffering. In fact, if I learn to see the cross rightly, I can even find true joy.

To help you understand this point, I’d like to turn first to a Jewish psychiatrist who wrote a very important book called Man’s Search for Meaning.16 Viktor Frankl was practicing psychology and psychiatry in Vienna when he was deported by the Nazis with his wife and parents. Eventually he and his wife were brought to Auschwitz where they were “processed” - that is, they were put in a line of prisoners and had to walk before a guard. The guard looked at each person in the line and pointed either to the right or to the left. He looked at Viktor’s wife and pointed to the left and at him and pointed to the right. Viktor did not know it at the time but to the left was to the gas chambers and to the right was to the work camp. He would never see his wife again.

As he lived for many months in the work camp, he began to observe the other prisoners. Remember, he was a psychiatrist. He realized as he watched the people in the camp that they died because they lacked a reason to live. He said you could watch it happen. Someone would decide not to get out of bed in the morning when the guards came through. Instead, they would reach into their pocket and pull out their last cigarette and smoke it in bed. He pointed out that when we have no reason to go on, we simply want pleasure and we want it now. He said you could almost guarantee that this person would be dead in 24 to 48 hours. They would catch one of the diseases in the camp and die. But they actually died from a lack of reason to live.

As he reflected upon this reality, he realized that if he was going to survive this concentration camp he must have a reason to live. As a Jewish man, the scripture passage from the Song of Songs came to him: “Love is stronger than death.”17 He thought about the love he had for his wife, and although he did not know if she was dead or alive, he knew that he did love her. This love, he thought, was worth living for. It gave him the strength to go on. He eventually did survive the concentration camp and he wrote a book about his experience. In that book, he pointed out that the secret to going through difficulties in life is to know the reason. He wrote, “If a man has a ‘why’ to live, he can endure any ‘how.’”18 He writes about what he said once to a fellow prisoner in despair: “I spoke of our sacrifice, which had meaning in every case. It was in the nature of this sacrifice that it should appear pointless in the normal world, the world of material success. But in reality our sacrifice did have meaning…. I told them of a comrade who on his arrival in camp had tried to make a pact with heaven that his suffering and death should save the human being he loved from a painful end. For this man, suffering and death were meaningful; his was a sacrifice of the deepest significance. He did not want to die for nothing. None of us wanted that.”19

In places like concentration camps, the meaning of life becomes more clear. In life there are really two options – either to spend our lives trying to avoid suffering and seeking happiness in the things of this world, whether that be relationships, or careers, or material comforts, or to embrace the suffering that comes from making a gift of my life and to discover its deepest meaning. As C.S. Lewis says, “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it is not so bad.”20 If I begin to think of life as training ground, if I begin to see the crosses that are asked of me as God’s way of training me, then suffering can have great meaning. Now, it is important when one is encouraging people to find meaning in suffering to never belittle the depth of human suffering. We should not pretend understanding the mystery of suffering is easy. This is especially difficult when one experiences the suffering of the innocent, of which our society and even our Church have seen too much.

Real surrender begins by expressing honestly to God the depth of our feelings, just as we see Jesus do in the Bible. But there is another step. We must also be able to pray with Jesus, “Not my will but yours be done.”

But as St. John Paul II points out in his encyclical Salvifici Doloris: On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, it is normal for us as humans to ask “why” when we suffer. And this is not a frivolous question, even if we can never take away the mystery of suffering, because in Christ we can find an answer that allows us to find meaning in every suffering. When you think about it, the cross is the worst thing that ever happened in the history of the world. The Son of God comes to earth to reveal to us the love of the Father, and we human beings hang him up on a tree to die. What could be a greater rejection of love than this? And yet out of this evil act, God brings the greatest good for us. He turns this evil into a source of love and life for all generations. He wants to make this transformation in every cross we carry, in every wound, in every sin, in every evil that has ever happened in our lives. He wants to show us how this place of suffering can open us up more to his love and mercy. This is what St. Paul expresses in his letter to the Romans when he says, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”21 He works through all things, no matter the evil or suffering in our life, past, present our future. The truth of the cross is that if this place in my life is surrendered to God, then he works for good.

Here you begin to see how the cross leads to true joy. Why? Because true joy comes from true love and true love is revealed in the crosses of my life. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”22 This is the stunning thing you discover in the Christian history of martyrdom. In almost every eyewitness testimony we have of the martyrs we find that they are expressing miraculous joy. The Japanese Martyrs of Nagasaki sang hymns of praise and preached with joy as they were being tortured. St. Thomas More made jokes with the executioner on his way to the gallows. Why were they filled with joy? Having surrendered their lives fully to the cross they were already experiencing the resurrection. They knew what St. Paul knew when he wrote from his prison cell as he prepared for his own martyrdom: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.”23 You see, St. Paul realized that Christ lived in him and Christ loved in him and Christ wanted to suffer in him. And he realized his suffering was his privileged way to be close to Christ, and it gave him great joy to believe that his sufferings were part of the redemption that Christ continues to work in our world today. He saw that through his suffering, life could come to more people.24

I promised at the beginning of this talk that I would speak practically about transforming the reality of suffering in our lives and give some examples of how we might do that. The main example comes from Jesus himself. It is stunning when you think about the manner in which Jesus experiences his cross. One might think that when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, comes to pray the night before his passion he would say, “Father I know that this is the moment I was born for - I am ready - I gladly accept your will - I know that you will be with me.” However, this is not at all how Jesus prays. Rather we find Jesus in this moment pouring out his heart, which is full of pain, fear, and sadness. He is crying, sweating blood, begging his disciples to help him, as he cries out his agony to his Father, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.”25 Cardinal Ratzinger, when he comments on this passage in his book Behold the Pierced One, points out that this is the moment when we see the two natures of Christ most clearly.26 What we see is that his human nature fully experiences the pain, fear, and terror of his cross. His humanity must in some way surrender to his divinity, as he says, “Not my will but yours be done.”

Brothers and sisters, we should not expect to carry our crosses any better than Jesus did. It is normal that when we are faced with a cross our whole being would cry out, “Father let this cup pass from me.” It is normal that we would express fear, sadness, and pain at what appears to be the Father’s will before us. In fact, it is important, as the saints show us, to pray and cry out to God with honesty when we feel the weight of suffering. This is what all the psalms of lament are about in the Bible. Real surrender begins by expressing honestly to God the depth of our feelings, just as we see Jesus do in the Bible. But there is another step. We must also be able to pray with Jesus, “Not my will but yours be done.” There must be in our pouring out of our pain to God, this desire to see the way he sees. There must be an openness to his will. There must be an act of faith that wants to believe in God’s goodness. When I stand before the crosses of my life, I must exercise faith. I must say, “God I don’t understand this, I don’t want this, how can you allow this? But I know that you are good, and so please show me how this is good for me.”

By the way, did you ever notice how Jesus in the Garden is in absolute agony, but the very next moment, when they come to arrest him, he is in total peace of soul, and this peace of soul will last throughout his whole passion? From the moment of his arrest on, he expresses no fear. What changed? He is showing us the power of surrender. For us, surrender is a grace that we receive from God when we pour out our hearts honestly to him. It is the grace that comes from prayer, when we learn to see the way he sees. When we honestly pour out our hearts to him with faith, we always receive from him the grace to see the situation the way he sees it. Depending on the suffering or trial we are relating to God, this grace to see his way may not come quickly, but if I continue to relate honestly to him, it always comes. This is why the martyrs have joy. They have received the grace of seeing their death the way he sees.

Brothers and sisters, we should not expect to carry our crosses any better than Jesus did. It is normal that when we are faced with a cross our whole being would cry out, “Father let this cup pass from me.” It is normal that we would express fear, sadness, and pain at what appears to be the Father’s will before us.

This is why our lives of daily prayer are so essential. Most of the time I am afraid to directly face my fears, my struggles, and my crosses. If I don’t spend time in prayer, relating these struggles to God, then I will never come to the surrender he desires. I will go on living a shallow life that avoids the pain of the cross. Without a life of daily prayer, I will be necessarily centered on myself and not on him. But if I endure the discipline and suffering of becoming a person of daily prayer, if in my daily prayer I honestly seek his will and seek to surrender to it, then gradually he will become more and more the center of my life. Gradually, I will start to see how he is present in every struggle - past, present and future. Then he will give me the grace to not only carry my cross, but to experience the joy of self-gift.

Let me close with one example that comes from my own ministry as a priest. The very first anointing that I ever did as a priest was for a woman who was dying of cancer. I was in my parish for only two days when her husband called and asked if I would come to their home and anoint his wife. When I got to the home, the husband met me at the door and took me back to the bedroom. There was his wife in a hospital bed set up right next to his bed. She was able to recognize that I was a priest and make a simple confession and then he joined me as I gave her anointing and Holy Communion as viaticum. When I finished giving her the sacraments, the two of us sat on his bed and looked at her in silence. I did not know what to say. I had only been a priest for a few weeks. Finally, he broke the silence and he said, “I love her now more today than the day that I married her.” This is the truth of the cross. Romance had gone from this marriage long before. For the past year she had been mostly in that bed and he had fed her and changed her diapers, but in that suffering, his love grew. Do you see how much deeper and more beautiful love is when it involves the cross?

I started this talk by saying that we are all called to greatness, and that the main obstacle to this is our way of seeking happiness in the things of this world, versus finding happiness in the cross. It is the problem of being centered on self and not on God. What happens when I embrace the truth, and through prayer, change the center of my life? What happens is that a life of self-gift opens before us and God can now reveal his plan. Bl. John Henry Newman would say that this is the moment we come to real faith. It is the moment that we are willing to risk ourselves for Christ, to lose our lives for him. This is what real faith does. It ventures something for Christ. In one of his most famous sermons, "The Ventures of Faith," Newman points out that “our duty as Christians lies in making ventures for eternal life without the absolute certainty of
success.”27 It is this fear of failure, this fear of losing everything, that makes the act of faith so difficult, especially for those who seek the security of this world. Newman explains what I believe is the essence of the Christian vocation and that which is so hard for young people gripped by fear: “Our duty lies in risking upon Christ's word what we have, for what we have not; and doing so in a noble, generous way, not indeed rashly or lightly, still without knowing accurately what we are doing, not knowing either what we give up, nor again what we shall gain; uncertain about our reward, uncertain about our extent of sacrifice, in all respects leaning, waiting upon Him, trusting in Him to fulfil His promise, trusting in Him to enable us to fulfil our own vows, and so in all respects proceeding without carefulness or anxiety about the future.”28

How can we do this? How can we risk everything for Christ? It is only possible if we have the absolute certainty of being loved by him. It is only possible if his word is true: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”29 When we experience this love, when we surrender to this love, it makes us want to risk everything for Christ. We discover the joy of living life in self-gift, which is the joy of the Christian vocation. Morris West described this joy in his classic book, The Shoes of the Fisherman. He said, “If a man is centered upon himself, the smallest risk is too great for him, because both success and failure can destroy him. If he is centered upon God, then no risk is too great, because success is already guaranteed - the successful union of creator and creature, beside which everything else is meaningless.”30 In the end, it comes down to seeing the way Christ sees. When through prayer I learn to see my life as he does, I see who I am, how much I am loved and that he has a plan for my life. I see that no sacrifice, no risk is too great, because he uses everything as a means to make a gift of myself – which is my greatest joy.

1 John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, no. 23.

2 John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them, p. 186. The Pope references Gaudium et spes, which says that man “can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself” (p. 24).

3 The Catholic Spirit, "Ahead of His February 15 Death, Catholic Studies Founder Don Briel Reflected on Dying Well," February 13, 2018.

4 Francis, "Meeting with the Bishops of Brazil," July 28, 2013.

5 Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W.W. Norton Company, 2010).

6 1 Timothy 6:10. See also Luke 18:24-25 and Luke 12:34.

7 See, for example, Francis, World Youth Day, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 25, 2013.

8 Charles Chaput, Strangers in a Strange Land (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2017), p. 140 (quoting William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life (New York: Free Press, 2014), p. 3).

9 Simon Sinek, "Millennials in the Workplace,", December, 2016.

10 Christian Smith, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

11 Luke 9:23-25.

12 Mark 10:17-27. See also Matthew 19:16-26 and Luke 18:18-23.

13 Ignatius, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, (Louisville: Webb McGill, 1849), n. 23, “Principal and Foundation.”

14 John Henry Newman, "The Cross of Christ, The Measure of the World," Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. 6.

15 Ibid.

16 Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1959).

17 Song of Songs 8:6

18 Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, p. 101.

19 Ibid., pp. 98-99.

20 C.S. Lewis, Answers to Questions on Christianity, quoted in A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C.S. Lewis, ed. Clide S. Kilby (New York: Hardcourt, 1968), p. 176.

21 Romans 8:28.

22 John 15:13.

23 Colossians 1:24.

24 Cf. 2 Corinthians 4: 7-11.

25 Matthew 26:39.

26 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Behold the Pierced One, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986).

27 John Henry Newman, "The Ventures of Faith," Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. 4.

28 Ibid.

29 Romans 8:28.

30 Morris West, The Shoes of the Fisherman (Great Britain: William Heinmann Ltd., 1963).

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