I found myself weeping at Mass.  The priest, who knows the science of the cross so intimately (not all Catholics or Christians, priests or pastors, do!), was explaining:
     Heaven is not for heroes.  It is not for the successful.  It is not for those who have figured out human strength or flourishing or accomplishment.
     Heaven is for saints.  Saints are people who might be neither heroic, nor successful, nor strong, nor accomplished.  But saints are people who have figured out–by the grace of God–how to be like Jesus as He approached the cross.  They have figured out that what is right and good is to accept one’s “being a victim.”  Now, this kind of “victim” is not like a secular, merely human victim.  A secular victim is self-pitying, angry, resentful, weak.  But the Christian victim is powerful.  She or he is so powerful that, like the God-Man himself, she/he can take a false accusation, a malicious condemnation, a slap, a beating, a mocking and even death, and maintain love for the offender.  The saint can be misunderstood to a violent degree, and offer the violence as a gift for sinners, for the world.  Being a victim in this Christian sense is to be like God.  And, the priest said, if we do not accept our victimhood, and if we do not see Jesus as a victim, then we do not know who Jesus really is.
     What are our pains?  What are the ways we have been mistreated?  What are the sacrifices that we make for other people?  What are the ways that we are not successful, accomplished, or flourishing?  All of these areas of our life are where the Holy Spirit loves to show up.  These are the areas that should captivate our attention, like the little section of our land that might just have minerals, gold, or diamonds underground.  These are the  areas that we should think: “Now, how can I rethink how I feel about this?”  No matter how long ago these pains or failures happened, it is never too late to say, “Today is the day that I am going to say, ‘YES!’ to this mistreatment, this splotch in my past, this horrible memory.  Today is the day that I embrace it, as Christ embraced his cross.  And today is the day that I offer it up for the person who hurt me, or the person who succeeded instead of me.”
     In that moment, we begin a new way of thinking, a new way of praying, and a new way of being at peace with what ails us.  And in that moment we begin a new level of intimacy with Christ, who is the Author of this Divine Approach, this Genius Way of Life.