Thoughts on the Patient Endurance of Sorrows and Sufferings
SUFFERING A TEST OF VIRTUE
Suffering increases merit by insuring not only greater purity but also greater earnestness of motive.
It has a bracing influence upon the will, and gives tone and vigor to its exercise. Difficulties and sufferings bring out manliness and strength of will and nobility of soul. They try earnestness of purpose. They are an unmistakable test of solid virtue. There is beauty and merit in each least aspiration of virtue breathed on the playful wing of joy, but there is greater and more solid meri t in the depth and vigor of determination evinced in the practice of virtue under difficulties, temptations and trials. There is no trial, temptation, or suffering which cannot be turned into a blessing by the will of a conscious sufferer.
It was asked of the Blessed Angela of Foligno how she could suffer with such joy. She replied: "Believe me, we do not know the price of sufferings; if we knew their value, sufferings would be for us an object of strife, each trying to rob the other of occasions to suffer."
St. Teresa declared she would not exchange her sufferings for all the treasures of the world. Her motto was, "Suffer or die."
What a joy it is to the Sacred Heart of Jesus when his children advance in the science of the saints! The treasure of holiness lies open to all, and the secret of utilizing these precious treasures consists in turning to our spiritual profit the common routine of everyday duties and the events of Providence. That which happens to us hour by hour, by God's will, is what is best and most profitable for us. Daily we have active or passive means of sanctity offered us.
Active sanctity consists in fulfilling with purity of intention the duties imposed by God, by the Church, by our state of life.If only we utilize the means of holiness thus provided, we shall surely become saints sooner or later.
Passive sanctity consists in the loving acceptation of what is painful and repugnant to nature, without heeding our likes and dislikes.
May the most just, most high, and most adorable will of God be in all things done, praised, and magnified forever.
Compiled and Edited by Rev. F. X. Lasance
Author of "My Prayerbook," etc.
1937, Benziger Brothers
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See