To be more concrete: many are the saints who devoted all their lives and energy to work for the Kingdom, and achieved great things for His Glory, and yet God allowed that their work was either destroyed, or “stolen from them.” The one case that comes to mind is Jeanne Jugan, this humble girl from Brittany who devoted her life to helping the poor, her loving work attracted many young girls who followed her example. As could be foreseen, it soon led to the foundation of a congregation, when this work of love was crowned with success, it was hi-jacked by one of its members, and Jeanne Jugan was “robbed” of her achievements. She humbly and joyfully went back to her modest work and became a saint.
Hard as it is for us “men of little faith” to keep sight of this truth, we should firmly believe that God knows how a piece of marble is to be chiseled to perfection in order to fully reflect the genius of the Divine artist. To accept a crying injustice, which humanly seen has nefarious consequences, and to do so as a proof of one’s Love of God is heroic: this is precisely what God demands of his saints.
Anyone reading the moving life of St. Bernadette, would not like to share the trials that she was exposed to – a price she had to pay for the amazing grace of seeing the Blessed one. Fame when not baptized by tears is most dangerous for all of us. The way she was treated by some of her nuns in the convent, once again, gave the final divine touch to her holiness.
To go further back in history, St. Marguerite Marie Alacoque who received the sublime mission of spreading the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, had to pay for this amazing privilege by being viewed by her “sisters” at the convent of the Visitation, as disturbed. To comfort her God, in his Goodness, sent her Father de la Colombiere who, convinced of the validity of her message, encouraged her to hold fast in peace to the mission that God had confided to her.
In recent times, let us recall how Saint Padre Pio was maligned, accused of faking his stigmata, and that this calumny was believed and endorsed by the highest authority in the Church.
It is most baffling that God allows a work that He himself encouraged and directed, to be destroyed, and even permits secular trends to invade His vineyard.
I am fumbling to find an answer. Maybe the most dramatic Catholic paradox is precisely here to be found. God chooses one particularly person to work at his service. This person responds generously, and puts both his mind and heart in the mission confided to him. Indeed, woe to the man invited to work for the Lord, and chooses to go back to his “business.” But he who faithfully responds is told while lovingly doing his work, that “he is useless servant” (Lk, XVII) and moreover is reminded that God – while requiring his service – does not need it: for He and He alone is the one who makes his Vineyard produce rich grapes.
A human demotion (a crown of thorns) is a supernatural promotion, perceived by Angels as a "crown of gold."
“I believe, O Lord; help my unbelief.”