+ “If I had another way of bringing you closer to me than suffering, I would chose it.” (Jesus to Gabrielle Bossis)
“The cross is the greatest gift God could bestow on His Elect on earth. There is nothing so necessary, so beneficial, so sweet, or so glorious as to suffer something for Jesus. If you suffer as you ought, the cross will become a precious yoke that Jesus will carry with you.” (St. Louis de Montfort)
The saints say similar things. Catholic doctrine on suffering (which is sadly unknown to many) is most consoling! The following considerations will help us to see why:
+ “Suffering is the key to Heaven.” (Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina). “The Cross is the true and only road that leads souls to Heaven.” (Jesus to St. Rose of Lima)
+ “I loved suffering, I the Man of Sorrows; I chose it because it makes reparation for sins when it is offered with love… when suffering is joined to love, the proofs of love given through suffering are a true reparation offered to God. It is giving God something that He does not have in His Heaven. Therefore, I chose suffering so that all My creatures, even the most miserable, like yourself, might have something precious to offer to God.” (Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity)
+ “I am fair, and I am all thine, as I am for all who take up their cross and follow in My footsteps… He who desireth to win Heaven must lead a life of penance, and he who suffereth shall not be deceived, for he walketh in a way of great security.” (Jesus to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi)
+ “Help Me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your sufferings to My Passion and offer them to the Heavenly Father for sinners.” (Jesus to St. Faustina). “Take My Cross, My Nails and Crown. I go in search of souls.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)
+ Meditation on the thirteenth station of the Cross (Jesus is taken down from the Cross): “Whenever a soul receives with faith and love any occasion of suffering, it is as if she received Me in her arms when taken down from the Cross; the two arms with which the soul receives Me are resignation and love for My divine Will.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Affliction is always accompanied by Grace; Grace is proportionate to suffering. The measure of My gifts is increased with the measure of trials.” (Jesus to St. Rose of Lima) (Beg for the virtue of patience, and remember that we may not be rewarded until we reach Heaven)
“If a person wishes to make Me an acceptable offering, let him seek refuge in none beside Me in tribulation, and not complain of his griefs to anyone, but entrust to Me all the anxieties with which his heart is burdened. I will never forsake one who acts thus.” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde)
+ “When thou art suffering, whether interiorly or exteriorly, do not lose the merit of thy pain; suffer only for Me. The greater number of souls, often even pious souls, lose much merit by relating what they suffer to anyone who will hear them; and although they do not complain, they desire no less the sympathy of creatures. When My Divine Heart sends suffering It wills that the soul accept it with patience and resignation. Such persons believe that their trials will be relieved by pouring them out to the creature; nature is satisfied, but grace is weakened, and courage fails them afterward to bear their sufferings through pure love.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
What The Saints Said About Suffering
“There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials.” – St. Aloysius Gonzaga
“One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.” – St. Teresa of Avila
“Nothing afflicts the heart of Jesus so much as to see all His sufferings of no avail to so many.” – St. John Vianney
“If the angels could desire anything, it seems to me that they would envy us our privilege of suffering…” – Bl. Dina Belanger
“Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation.” – St. Augustine
“Let us strive to face suffering with Christian courage. Then all difficulties will vanish and pain itself will become transformed into joy.” – St. Teresa of Avila
“Suffering is like a kiss that Jesus hanging from the cross bestows on persons whom He loves in a special way. Because of this love He wants to associate them in the work of the redemption.” – St. Bonaventure
“To suffer and not to suffer for God is torment.” – St. Gerard Majella
“Difficulties and sufferings will disappear, but the merit we acquire through our fidelity will remain forever.” – St. Jane Frances de Chantal
“If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint.” – St. Ignatius Loyola
“What greater consolation can come to a soul, than to know that, by patiently bearing some tribulation, it gives God the greatest pleasure in its power?” – St. Alphonsus
“It would be like blasphemy to believe that God is indifferent to our needs and sufferings. God always looks upon us with an infinite look, one that is infinitely intense, penetrating to the very depths of our soul and knowing all its griefs and its needs.” Bl. Dom Columba Marmion
“Let us tell ourselves that every day, every hour, every instant of suffering borne with Jesus and for love of Him will be a new heaven for all eternity, and a new glory given God for ever.” – Bl. Dom Columba Marmion
Do not be frightened at these words, dear reader. They are necessary for our humility, which opens our hearts to God’s goodness and grace: “We are indebted to God’s justice for a hundred thousand bushels of wheat; and he lets us off for a portion of it. O great favour! We merit eternal torments, and he lets us suffer a few small temporal afflictions. Ah, what goodness! We should take care to make good use of our afflictions. God wants to cleanse us of the filth of our sins by a lye-bath of suffering that seems very strong. But the stronger it is, the more it whitens us. It makes us pleasing in the sight of his divine majesty, provided that we cultivate the necessary dispositions, chiefly these four:
First, we must accept our sufferings from the most adorable Trinity, and not attribute them in any way to our fellow creatures. They are merely the rods our Father uses to punish us.
Second, we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, regarding ourselves not as innocent, but as guilty criminals. The humbler we become, the more will God protect us and convert all things to our welfare.
Third, we regard sin as the sole author of all our ills, turning all our hatred against this monstrous enemy. We must forcefully destroy sin by true penitence and banish it beyond the doors of our souls. Let’s remove the cause, and the effect will cease.
Fourth, we must guard against subscribing to the pagan sentiment of hating those who hate us. We must follow Jesus, our gentle leader, by loving all- including enemies.” – St. John Eudes
Consider Our Lord’s sufferings!
“Let men meditate with profound gratitude, and keep always in their memory the acts of virtue I practised while on earth, all the sufferings and injuries I bore during thirty-three years, the destitution in which I received the affronts I had to bear from My own creatures, and at last My death on the Cross, that most bitter death borne for love of man. By it, I bought his soul with My Precious Blood to make it My spouse. Let each one have as much love and gratitude for all these benefits as if I had suffered them for his salvation alone.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde
“As My divinity drew to itself the sufferings of My humanity, and made them its own (it is the dowry of the bride), thus will I transport thy pains into My divinity; I will unite them to My Passion and will make thee to share in that glory which My Father bestowed upon My sacred humanity in return for all its sufferings.” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde)