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The evils that God sends us are in reality blessings, because by suffering patiently we acquire eternal merits. Each suffering endured with patience is a kind of precious stone in our crown in heaven. A famous preacher used the following comparison to make his listeners understand this fundamental truth: “Suppose,” he said, “that on the top of a nearby mountain there are a great many wooden crosses. If I were to tell you that each of you could choose one and consider it your own, provided you carried it home yourself, I don’t think many of you would be tempted to go. But suppose these crosses were hollow and filled with ducats, it would be something else: there would be a fight over who would get the heaviest one and the pain would be counted for nothing. Suffering is a cross of this kind: those who do not have faith, and therefore do not know the eternal rewards that are the price of suffering, murmur and feel sorry for them. The Saints, on the other hand, who knew the eternal value of suffering, loved it and rejoiced in it. Hence the motto of St. Teresa: ‘Lord! or suffer or die!’ It is for this reason, too, that in the midst of suffering Job sings the praises of God, saying, ‘It has come to pass as it has pleased the Lord, blessed be His name!’”
A wealthy and distinguished lady once sought advice from a priest of proven experience. “Father,” she said to him, “I am extremely attached to the world and I always fall back into my old faults. I have done the impossible to correct myself, but without any result: I have made retreats, I have confessed frequently, I have addressed myself to the Blessed Virgin, I have given alms: but all this has done me no good. What more can I try?” The priest answered her simply, “Suffering.” And so it was. As a result of an accident this lady lost most of her property, and several members of her family were taken from her in a short time: these evils made her recognize the nothingness of the goods of this world. Meeting the old priest a short time later, she was able to say to him, “Misfortune has brought me back to God.”
God uses it towards sinners like a father towards a disobedient child; He punishes them in order to make them docile, or like a surgeon who cuts and burns the ulcer to save the patient. By temporal suffering He seeks to rescue them from eternal death.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.