All the consolations which God ever gave should be gladly given up [if it comes to it], if it be to His glory. This is the harvest of the corn… on which we shall live eternally, and which make us rich in God. Thus the virtues are made perfect, and sorrow is turned to eternal wine. By such men, and by their lives and their patience, all those who know them and all their neighbours are taught and changed for the better. And so the corn of their virtues is sown and multiplied for the benefit of all good men.
Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293–1381)
Be thankful to God. You are not abandoned. God holds you like an infant against his breast. It may seem the fire of first fervour is gone, but God has hidden it under the ashes so that you may ground yourself in true humility and know your nothingness. A time will come when the Holy Spirit will blow upon the ashes, and a fire more lively and bright that before will be lit because you have been faithful to God.
Saint Paul of the Cross
If a man does his part [in prayer and virtue], and yet feels forsaken in his heart, it is far better for him than any experiences or feelings would be that he could have.
Johannes Tauler OP (1300–1361)
I wish everyone could understand the great grace that God, in his mercy, sends when he sends suffering, especially suffering devoid of consolation. Then, indeed, we’re purified like gold in the furnace. Without knowing, we become radiant and set free to fly to our Good, to a blessed transformation. We carry the cross with Jesus and don’t know it.
Saint Paul of the Cross
After not hearing from Pier Giorgio Frassati for some time, a friend jokingly sent him a letter asking, “Are you dead?” The blessed replied in his own letter with a kind of seriousness that I feel a lot of sympathy for. Sometimes, as I’m torn and pushed this way and that, navigating through this world, I feel the same.Pier Giorgio said this:
Dead – what does this word mean? If you are giving dead its usual meaning, then I am still alive (unless my senses deceive me). But if we’re talking about the word in its true essence, then sadly not only am I dead, but already resuscitated a number of times only – alas! to die again.
I would like to set off along the straight and narrow path, but at every step I stumble and fall; for this reason I beg you to pray for me as much as you can so that one day, whenever Divine providence wills, I will reach the end of that wearisome but straight path.
Indeed he did, just a few months later. But how intense the suffering and the trials of the viator can be…