The Principal Duties of the Day (Part Five) ~ Suffering


Painting by Carlton Alfred Smith, 1888

Part One is here.

Part Two (Our Daily Prayers) is here.

Part Three (Working, Eating) is here.

Part Four (Sleeping) is here.

From An Easy Way to Become a Saint by Father Paul O’Sullivan, 1950’s


Suffering is thought by many to be the great evil of life. Oh, if they could only avoid it!

All about suffering….

Our Lord has given us a most perfect redemption. He could have dispensed the law of suffering if He so willed. Why does God, being of infinite goodness and mercy, ask us to suffer? For the simple reason that suffering is a very great grace.

Our suffering is a share, a small but most valuable share, in the Passion of Our Dear Lord. It is priceless in value—if we only accept it and offer it in union with Christ’s Passion.

He has suffered unspeakable agonies for each one of us. Are we such arrant cowards as to refuse to suffer a little for Him? How little gratitude we show for all that He has done for us! The easiest and best way of thanking Him is to offer our daily crosses and trials for love of Him.

The one big trouble about suffering is that we do not know how to suffer. We have no idea of its merits. The secret is to suffer with patience and serenity. Then suffering loses all its sting, all its bitterness.

If we only remember that it is Our Sweet Lord Himself who asks us to bear these daily trials for love of Him, suffering loses its horrors.

God gives us abundant strength and grace to bear our crosses, if we ask Him. Many good and pious Christians never think of asking God to help them to bear their crosses! Therefore, their crosses weigh heavily on them.

Our sufferings are the purest gold in our lives. Five minutes’ suffering is of greater worth than twenty years of pleasure and happiness.

The Son of God suffered, His Immaculate Mother suffered, the Apostles, the Saints, all God’s friends suffered. Suffering therefore must be a great grace.

One of the most lamentable evils in our human lives is that we lose the immense rewards which our sufferings ought to merit. We fear suffering, we hate it, we revolt.

It is not the suffering, but this revolt, that makes suffering unbearable and makes us cross, irritable, peevish. On the other hand, suffering borne patiently brings out all the beautiful traits of our character. It refines us as fire purifies and refines gold.

One fact well worth remembering is that our daily sufferings, the least as well as the greatest, if borne well, merit for us a crown of martyrdom.

A second is that the priceless graces and rewards which our sufferings should bring us are lost if suffering is borne badly.

Consequently, let us remember this about suffering:

1) That it is our share of the Passion of Jesus Christ; therefore, it has indescribable merit.

2) That, if borne with patience for the love of God, it loses all its sting and bitterness.

3) That if we ask God, He will most certainly give us abundant strength to bear the sufferings He sends us.

4) Our sufferings will save us from the fearful pains of Purgatory.

5) Suffering, well borne, makes us saints.

“Painful trials strengthen our faith and make it purer, more supernatural; the soul believes, not because of the consolation that faith gives it, not because it trusts in its feelings or enthusiasm, not even in the little it does understand of the divine mysteries, but it believes only because God has spoken. When the Lord wishes to lead souls to a more intimate union with Himself, He almost always makes them undergo such trials; then is the moment to give Him testimony of our faith by throwing ourselves, with our eyes closed, into His arms.” – Divine Intimacy

Awesome prayer! ❤️ I say this daily.

Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.

Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.

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