“Do you know, daughter, for what reason I send crosses to souls dear to me? I desire to possess their souls, entirely, and for this I surround them with crosses, and I enclose them in sufferings and tribulation, that they may not escape from my hands; and for this I scatter thorns, that souls may fasten their affections upon no one, but find all content in Me alone. My daughter, if you do not feel the cross it cannot be called a cross. Be sure that under the cross you will not be lost. The demon has no strength against those souls who for My love groan under the cross. 0 My daughter, how many would have abandoned Me if they had not been crucified. The cross is a gift too precious, and from it come many virtues.”
“Oh soul dear to me, if you truly love Me, behold My chalice; you can drink it to the last drop. On this chalice I have placed My lips, and I want you to drink it… I have sent this cross to you, you do not appreciate it; rather it is contrary to your desire, but the more it is contrary, the more it is like Mine. Would it not seem to you a dreadful thing to see a father in the midst of sorrow and the children enjoying themselves? When I shall be your Spouse of blood, I will come to you, but crucified; show your love to me as I have shown it toward you, and do you know how? By suffering, pains, and crosses without number. You ought, therefore, to consider yourself honored, if I lead you on paths hard and painful; if I permit that you be tormented by the demon, that the world despise you, that persons most dear to you afflict you, and with daily martyrdom, I permit your soul to be purified and tested. And you, daughter, think only of practicing great virtue; run in the path of the Divine Will, humbled, assured, that if I hold you to the cross, I love you.”
– Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani
Considering St. Gemma’s immense sufferings, I would like to make a brief comment on “karma.” Many, not understanding the fruit or value of St. Gemma’s sufferings, nor her desire to suffer for love of God and neighbour, would consider her very unfortunate. She was bedridden; she endured agonising pains; she was mocked. “What has she done wrong?” some might ask. “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
If you desire the answer, my friends, look at a Crucifix.
“Take the holy crucifix in your hands, kiss its wounds with great love, and ask Him to preach you a sermon. Listen to what the thorns, the nails, and that Divine Blood say to you. Oh! What a sermon.” (St. Paul of the Cross)
“O what inspiration there is in the Crucifix! Who could find it hard to persevere
at the sight of a God who never commands us to do anything which he has not
first practiced himself?” – St. John Vianney
Suffering, borne with love, likens us to Jesus Himself.
According to the saints, all the sufferings of the world cannot compare to the malice of one deliberate sin. And yet, rather than punish us in the way we deserve, God allows us to undergo relatively small sufferings, which, when offered humbly to God, become a means of redemption, atonement, sanctification, humility, growth in love etc. By bearing our crosses patiently- no matter how small they are- we are participating in God’s work of redemption (https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/consoling-revelations-about-suffering/). As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, may God give us the grace to imitiate His actions. “Through suffering, the soul comes to know what it is.”
God bless you!