Some considerations to encourage us in our sufferings

January 10, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 447
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Consider also the sufferings which our Saviour endured from creatures.

He was bruised, and buffeted, and spat upon. With what patience He bore the mockery of the multitude! With what resignation he drank the bitter draught of vinegar and gall! How willingly He embraced the death of the Cross to deliver us from eternal death!

How, then, can you, a vile worm of the earth, presume to complain of sufferings which you have justly merited by your sins—those sins for which the spotless Lamb of God was immolated?

He would teach us by His example that unless we strive for the mastery legitimately—that is, courageously and perseveringly—we shall not be crowned. [2 Tim. ii. 5]

Moreover, let me appeal to your self-interest. Will you not at least make a virtue out of necessity? You must suffer. You cannot escape it, for it is a law of your nature. Can you resist the almighty power of God when He is pleased to send you afflictions?

Knowing these truths, and knowing that your sins deserve more than you can bear, why will you struggle against your trials? Why not bear them patiently, and thus atone for your sins and merit many graces?

Is it not madness to try to escape them, and thereby lose the blessings they can give, receiving instead a weight of impatience and misery which only adds to the load you must carry?

Stand prepared, then, for tribulations, for what can you expect from a corrupt world, from a frail flesh, from the envy of devils, and from the malice of men, but contradictions and persecutions?

Act, therefore, as a prudent man, and arm yourself against such attacks, proceeding with as much caution as if you were in an enemy’s country, and you will thus gain two important advantages: first, the trials against which you are forearmed will be easier to bear, for “a blow which we have anticipated,” says Seneca, “falls less heavily.” And this agrees with the counsel of Wisdom: “Before sickness take a medicine.” [Ecclus xviii. 20.]

Secondly, by anticipating in a spirit of resignation the afflictions which God may send you, you offer a sacrifice like that of Abraham, about to immolate his son.

Nothing, in fact, is more pleasing to God, nothing is more meritorious, for us than the resignation with which we prepare ourselves to accept all the trials that may come upon us, either from the hand of God or the wickedness of men.

Though these sufferings may never reach us, yet our good intention will be rewarded in the same way as if we had borne them. Thus was Abraham rewarded as if he had really sacrificed his son, because he was ready to do so in obedience to God.

Be not afraid, therefore, of tribulations, for unto these are you called, [1 St. Peter iii. 9, 14.]

Remember that you are as a rock in the midst of the ocean. The winds and waves of the world will beat against you, but do you remain unshaken.

To do good and to suffer are, according to St. Bernard, the duties of the Christian life. The latter is the more difficult. Prepare yourself, then, to fulfil it with courage.

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