Thought for the Day – 15 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Steadfastness in Suffering
“We are all obliged to suffer in soul and body.
Suffering begins at birth and ends at death.
“The whole life of a Christian is a cross,” (Sermon 31) says St Augustine.
For this reason, we have to develop the virtue of patience.
“Let patience have it’s perfect work,” says St James, “that you may be perfect and entire” (Js 1:4).
If we are to be perfect, we must accept suffering and trials from the hands of God and offer them to Him in a spirit of harmony with His holy will.
In this way, all our actions become valuable, for they are acts of reparation and of love, which will be rewarded in Heaven.
Both our joys and our sorrows are sanctified, if we offer them to God, Who arranges everything for our own good.
The Saints longed to suffer because, they loved God and knew that suffering is the only true way in which we can prove our love.
Suffering is the best medicine for the soul, for when it is endured with patience, it purifies us and prepares us for Heaven.
“If God does not punish you for our sins,” says St Augustine, “it is a sign that you are no longer counted among His sons” (De Pastoribus liber unus, c 5).
“Whom the Lord loves, he chastises,” St Paul writes “and, he scourges every son whom he receives” (Heb 12:6).
Suffering is, in fact, a gift from God.
It reminds us that we have not been created for this world but for Heaven, in preparation for which, we must carry our cross with patience in the footsteps of Jesus.
No matter what we do, we must suffer.
Either we bear trials patiently and gain an increase of merit, or we rebel against them and gain no merit at all.
When we suffer, let us think of the two thieves, both of whom were tortured in the same way.
But the good thief accepted his torments with patience in reparation for his sins and was saved, while the bad thief, rebelled against his sufferings and was most probably damned forever!”