Tuesday, September 6, 2011

St. Bernadette on Suffering

"My own concerns no longer concern me. From now on I must belong entirely to God, and God alone. Never to myself. Why have I come [to the convent], if not to love Our Lord with all my heart. O Jesus and Mary, grant that all my consolation in this world may be to love you, serve you and suffer for sinners.

O Jesus, teach me to understand how exclusive is heavenly Love. Continually dying to myself, peacefully supporting trials, I work, I suffer, and I wish to have no other witness but His Heart. He who is not prepared to suffer all for the Beloved and to do His Holy Will in all things is not worthy of the beautiful name of Friend.

From here on earth, Love cannot live without suffering. It is through loving the cross that we discover His Heart, for divine Love never lives without suffering. I want my whole life to be inspired by love. He who loves, does all things easily, or, if he suffers, he suffers bravely. Why is suffering necessary? Because on earth, pure love cannot exist without suffering. O Jesus, Jesus, I no longer feel my cross when I think of yours!"

- Saint Bernadette Soubirous
 October 1873

Diary of St. Faustina...on suffering within her own Community

+ 1634 - When the doctor 241 came, I could not go down to the parlor to see him, like the other sisters, but asked that he come to my cell, because I could not go down due to a certain difficulty. After a while, he came to the cell and, having examined me, said, "I'll tell everything to the Sister Infirmarian." When the Sister Infirmarian came, after the doctor had left, I told her why I hadn't been able to go down to the parlor, but she gave me to know how very displeased she was. And when I asked, "Sister, what did the doctor say about these pains?" she answered that he had said nothing, that it was nothing, that he had said the patient was just sulking. And with that she went off. Then I said to God, "Christ, give me strength and power to suffer; give to my heart a pure love for this sister." After that, she did not look in on me again for a whole week. 

But the sufferings returned with great violence and lasted almost the whole night, and it seemed that it would be the end, then and there. The superiors decided to approach another doctor, 242and he ascertained that my condition was serious and said to me, "It will not be possible to return you to good health. We can remedy your condition partially, but complete recovery is out of question." He prescribed a medicine for the pains, and after I had taken it, the major attacks did not return. "But if you come here, Sister, we will try to patch up your health somehow, if that is still possible." The doctor very much wanted me to go there for a treatment. 243 O my Jesus, how strange are Your decrees!