Something to Consider When You Suffer…

One day Our Lord appeared to Bl. Catherine of Racconigi, a stigmatic nun, who, like St. Catherine of Siena and several other saints, was mystically espoused to Jesus. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09703a.htm (‘Mystical Marriage’)
He showed Catherine an exceedingly beautiful crown of roses, saying: “All afflictions will appear as roses to you if you bear them with good will.”

When we accept any cross, however small, for the love of God, we bring Him immense glory and consolation. Listen to what Our Lord said to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero:

“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.”

In relation to one of the elect, Jesus spoke these beautiful words to St. Gertrude: “Because her most intense suffering was in her arm she holds Me embraced with a glory of beatitude so great that she would wish to have suffered a hundred times more.”

“God Alone!”: A Simple, Consoling and Blessed Rule for Living.

“GOD ALONE!”

– These words can be found over the doors in Cistercian monasteries.

For many, life is a great burden. If only they knew the love of God! God desires our greatest good, namely, union with Him, because He is the Source of all good. I am the vine; you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. How do we unite ourselves to Him? Through confidence, charity and humility. He that loveth not, abideth in death.

“It is not hard to love Love itself,” said Our Lord to Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez. “Why do you permit so much suffering?”, we might ask…

“When a soul is stretched on the cross, and is surrendered to My will, that soul glorifies me, and consoles Me,

and is very close to Me.”

– Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez

Ah, yes! Union with God! That is our greatest good. “GOD ALONE!” 

“It would be very pleasing to me,” said Jesus to St. Gertrude, “if my friends judged me less cruel. They should have the delicacy of thinking that I do not use severity, except for their benefit and for their greater benefit. I do it through love, and if this were
not necessary to cure them or in order to increase their eternal glory, I would not even let the slightest breeze bother them.”

In all our trials, all our worries – at all times – we need only seek God. “GOD ALONE!” Nothing will be of greater profit to us; nothing will afford us more consolation, both here and hereafter. Without God we are like a child without nourishment from its mother’s breast. Actually, we have an even greater need of God, for without Him we can do nothing! He sustains us in existence and nourishes us constantly with His strength and grace.

We must convince ourselves that God’s constant desire is what is best for us. The words “Blessed be God!” and other such words should always be in our heart and on our lips. Human ‘wisdom’, which complains that a “good God would not allow so much suffering”, rejects the One Who made the Cross a bridge between Heaven and Earth; but by doing so they blindly reject the very means by which they are to find true life; that is, by dying to self, to sin, to ego, to selfishness! I die daily, says St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:31). To be united to Life itself, we must be purged of sinfulness and imperfection. It is impossible to grow closer to God without trials.

Words of Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez:

“When a soul is burnt up with desire to love, nothing is a burden to her, but if she feels cold and spiritless everything becomes hard and difficult. Let her then come to My Heart to revive her courage…”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“… Let her offer Me her dejection, and unite it to My fervour; then she may rest content, for her day will be of incomparable value to souls. All human miseries are known to My Heart, and My compassion for them is great.”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“But I desire souls to unite themselves to Me not only in a general way. I long for this union to be constant and intimate, as it is between friends who live together; for even if they are not talking all the time, at least they look at each other, and their mutual affectionate little kindnesses are the fruit of their love…”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“When a soul is in peace and consolation, doubtless it is easier for her to think of Me, but if she is in the throes of desolation and anguish, she need not fear. I am content with a glance. I understand, and this mere look will draw down on her special proofs of my tenderness.”

(“GOD ALONE!”)

“It will never be known,” said Jesus to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos “what I have suffered to repair the evil of man.”  Will we not, then, bear at least a small burden for Our Saviour each day?

“When thou art suffering, whether interiorly orexteriorly, do not lose the merit of thy pain; suffer only for Me.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

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“GOD ALONE!”

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Something For Christians To Meditate Upon Daily.

“Accept lovingly all the trials which are sent you, as if they were the most precious gifts God could confer upon you. Do not think it possible that anything could happen to you outside the economy of divine Providence, because unless our Lord permitted it, you would never have to suffer. Never entertain any feelings of contempt against people who clash with you; look upon them as instruments made use of by God for the accomplishment of His designs, love them, and give thanks to Providence. The present life is the path which leads us to our country, and thus we are often exposed to tribulations here below, in order that we may not prefer the path to our true country. God scatters obstacles on the road of His elect for fear that, abandoning themselves to repose in this life on a path strewn with flowers, they should wish to prolong their journey instead of hastening on, for fear also that the pleasures of the journey should make them lose the desire for their own country.”

– Louis de Blois (Blosius), a devout monk and mystical writer

A Powerful Meditation: The Thirty-Three Years of Jesus’ Life

“Our Lord revealed to Blessed Michael of Florence, the Camaldolese, how He longed that those who loved Him should honour the Thirty-Three Years with affectionate minuteness.”

– Fr. Faber (‘The Precious Blood or The Price of Our Salvation’) 

We think often of those we love. It is very difficult to love God if we do not take the time to know Him e.g. by means of prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading. In the late 19th century, it was revealed to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich* that there were living approximately 100,000 souls who loved God greatly. Would we have been counted among this number?

A Fruitful Meditation

“The life of our loving Redeemer was all full of desolation, and bereft of every comfort. The life of Jesus was that great ocean which was all bitter, without a single drop of sweetness or consolation: For great as the sea is thy destruction:

This is what was revealed by our Lord to St. Margaret of Cortona, when he said to her that in his whole life he never experienced sensible consolation.”

(Taken from ‘The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ’ by St. Alphonsus)

How small our crosses are in comparison!

Furthermore, consider the incredible words of our Lord to St. Gertrude:

“Even though a soul be lacking in fervor, yet will I look upon her with much love, if she sometimes meditate upon My Passion. It is an exercise possessing a value in My eyes infinitely surpassing that of any other. Even a short meditation upon My Passion, is worth more than long and multiplied acts of piety that have no direct reference to My sufferings and death.”

 

* The writings of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich are very edifying. Unfortunately, however, many of her prophecies have been manipulated by disobedient or confused Catholics. Here is one such example: http://jloughnan.tripod.com/forgery.htm (How much deception and apparent forgery I have encountered on the internet! Given that the number of false mystics greatly outnumbers the authentic mystics, we would be better off following the example of Bl. Elena Aiello, St. Padre Pio and other holy Saints and mystics who submitted to the Church at all times.)

Consoling Revelations About Suffering

+ “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)