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The Wisdom of the Saints about suffering (part 7)

“Christ suffered all that He had to suffer; nothing at all is lacking to the number of His sufferings. Therefore His sufferings are complete, but in Him as in the head; there remain even now sufferings of Christ to be endured in the body.” St. Augustine of Hippo (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“Let it be our chief study to meditate on the life of Jesus Christ …. Jesus has many lovers of his heavenly kingdom, but few who are willing to bear his cross.” St. Damien de Veuster (19th century)

“Sometimes, we may have to suffer along the way that leads to the holy mountain of perfection, but we will not be discouraged, because whoever ignores the purpose of Christian suffering does not recognize and know what is great and wonderful in her days…Let us then be glad when an unexpected cross presents itself, and we are afflicted with pain. These are the choice fruits of the mystic vine, destined to bear inestimable merits for our souls. When you have to suffer, do not go about sighing like those who don’t know its value! Lift up your eyes and smile sweetly on what you suffer, which is like a field turning golden for the harvest. She who knows how to reap in this field will receive the reward. With gentle sweetness always unite your suffering with that of Jesus. Then your travail, suffered for Jesus and His divine Heart, will become as many droplets immersed in the immense ocean of His Passion. In this manner, our tribulations and pains united to those of our beloved Jesus will become not only holy but divinized and worthy of eternal glory…Be wise, then…and never waste sufferings by enduring them with complaints, or in a worldly fashion without a supernatural end.” St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (19th-20th centuries)

“Suffering is the great law of the spiritual world. God’s chosen ones escape it less than others; they pay the ransom for others, sometimes at a very high price. We will know only later the work accomplished by our suffering and our sacrifices. It all goes to the heart of God, and there, joined to the redemptive treasure, it expands in souls in the form of grace. We can convert, sanctify, console without going out of our home or out of ourselves…And God lavishes our humble gifts on others. When we present to Him the most intimate heartaches, this ‘blood of the heart’ that makes spiritual martyrs, we become very powerful with Him.” Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur (19th-20th centuries)

“For the world, to love is to enjoy yourself; it thinks in its selfishness that love consists above all in receiving consolation, satisfaction, etc. It is exactly the contrary: love is nourished by giving, by self-sacrifice, with the holy fuel of suffering.” Ven Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (19th-20th centuries)

“…ordeals are necessary, and they shall certainly cross our path, since the gold of love must be purified in the fire of affliction. In fact, suffering is the nourishment that strengthens love.” St. Maximilian Kolbe (19th-20th centuries)

“Christ is God and man, and if we would share His life, we must share both in the divine and the human life. The human nature which He took enabled Him to suffer and to die. The divine nature which He possessed from eternity gave His suffering infinite value and redemptive power. Christ’s suffering and death are continued in His mystical body.” St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (20th century)

“Then there is the cross of sickness which has a Divine purpose…Resignation to this particular kind of cross is one of the very highest forms of prayer. Unfortunately, the sick generally want to be doing something else other than the thing that God wants them to do. The tragedy of this world is not so much the pain in it; the tragedy is that so much of it is wasted…There will be a bright jewel of merit for those who suffer in this world. Because we live in a world where position is determined economically, we forget that in God’s world the royalty are those who do His will.” Ven. Fulton Sheen (19th-20th centuries)

“The sight of a suffering saint, patient and contented and happy, did more to influence the soldiers [of the Roman Empire] in the faith of Christ than a hundred sermons…Now, as then, it remains true that the most happy, encouraging, and joyful things that have ever been said have come from lives that suffered, or have been falsely accused. They have never come from those whose lives are full of pleasure. From the latter comes cynicism; from the former encouragement.” Ven. Fulton Sheen

“Is it not in fact you, brothers and sisters, who with your sufferings share the passion of the Redeemer Himself and in some way complete it? The unworthy successor of Peter, who proposes to examine the unfathomable riches of Christ, sorely needs your help, your prayer, your sacrifice, and for this reason most humbly entreats you.” Pope St. John Paul II (20th-21st centuries)

“What people call misfortunes Jesus called blessings. He did this because by redeeming our suffering He gave it immense value, which only the heart of a believer can know…To the unspeakable anguish of this question ‘Why me?’ Jesus offers the vivid response of His death on the Cross, since He suffered exclusively for others, offering Himself with endless love. And from that time we, too, ‘have always carried in our body the death of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may manifest itself in our body.’ In this way we can understand how Christ’s suffering – His death and resurrection, His saving act of love – is truly the source of dignity for all suffering, just like the promise of future glory that is about to be revealed to us.” Pope St. John Paul II

“We will understand in Heaven the value of human suffering in the plan of Providence for bringing to fulfillment the ‘story of salvation.’…Your apostolate of prayer and suffering is surely indispensable for the good of the Church: you, too, are in the front lines of support in the work of evangelization, conversion, and sanctification of the world.” Pope St. John Paul II

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