Jesus said to St. Gertrude:
“My child, you canst do nothing more gratifying to Me than to submit patiently to all the tribulations that befall you.”
The reward in Heaven for patiently accepting even the slightest suffering is so great that, according to many Saints, if we knew its true value, we would willingly embrace all sufferings, and even go so far as to seek more!
“The angels are jealous of us for one reason only; they are not able to suffer for God. Only through suffering can a soul say with certainty: My God, You see I do love You!”
– St. Padre Pio
Why does God permit tribulations?
For our salvation! The more we love God, the more blessings we receive, both here and hereafter; every occasion for growing in love and humility, therefore, should be seen as a great- nay, an INFINITE- blessing!
God desires not only that we be saved, but that we become Saints!
“And why should you become a saint except to please your Jesus ever more and more.”
– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata
Why does God desire that we become Saints?
Let us consult the Scriptures. In James 5:16, it says: “… the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.” While it is true that God loves us all, His Heart is so merciful and so sensible to love that He grants great graces to those who are conformed to His divine will:
“For the prayers of one loving soul prevail more with God, both for the living and the dead, than the prayers of a thousand souls who love less.”
– Jesus to St. Gertrude
(almost the exact same words were spoken to St. Teresa)
“The prayer of a humble and loving soul disarms the anger of My Father and draws down an ocean of blessings”
– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez
The prayers of the Saints were extremely powerful: they obtained miracles, the conversion of a great number of sinners, and many other graces that surpass all earthly gifts, such as money, fame, and all else that withers and leaves only emptiness. God’s infinite love impels Him to seek holy souls who will lead sinners to the Heart of God, as He revealed to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero:
“My Benigna, the thirst I experience of saving the greatest possible number of souls, impels Me to seek generous ones whom I can associate in My work of love. Thou wilt be the victim of My Justice and the consolation of My Love. Thou wilt be consumed by Love. Yes, My little spouse, I accept thy sacrifice with all the expansion of My love. I will immolate thee, but it will be always with the sword of Love- I will enchain thee, but with the bonds of love. I will consume thee, but in the fire of My Love.”
When we consider that our sins have merited eternal punishment, we should be greatly consoled by the thought that Our Lord offers us occasions to save our soul, to become holy, and thereby to help Him save other souls, who will love Him forever! The wickedness of one mortal sin, according to Ven. Louis of Grenada, is worse than all the sufferings on Earth and in Hell! I share these words for the purpose of humbling us and helping us to realise that the small crosses God “sends” us are trivial in comparison, and should therefore be received with much gratitude! God will bless us abundantly if we seek holiness, His glory, and the salvation of souls:
“The greatest charity is to take away souls from Satan and to bring them back to God!”
– Saint Padre Pio
I need not warn you of the dangers of selfishness and lukewarmness. The greater we grow in humility, the more we will see our own unworthiness, which, far from discouraging us, will fill us with love for and confidence in Him “… Who came from Heaven to seek you at the very time you were flying from Him.” (St. Thomas of Villanova).
However cold, ungrateful or sinful we might have been in the past, let us forget all that; instead, may we follow- with the help of Our Lady- the first movement of grace in our souls that calls us to love the God Who created us out of and for infinite love! That is no pious exaggeration! If only the world knew such love!
“What can there be more agreeable to the Heart of the infinite love of God than to pray for the conversion of those who are in a state of mortal sin? To be a child of love, is to sacrifice oneself to the love of God for the conversion of sinners.”
“If one could understand the value of an act of love for God in suffering, one would experience the greatest grief at being obliged to pass a single moment without being able to make this meritorious act. HAPPY IS HE WHO, IN SUFFERING, MAKES ACTS OF LOVE!”
– Fr. Paul of Moll, Benedictine “wonder-worker”
(I strongly recommend reading the book ‘Father Paul of Moll’; especially if you are scrupulous)