“PATIENT IN TRIBULATION”
And patience hath a perfect work. It is by patience that we gain Heaven. This earth is a place where we can gain merit; therefore it is not a place of rest, but of labours and sufferings; and it is for this end that God leaves us here that by patience we may obtain the glory of Paradise. Every one has to suffer in this world, but he who suffers with patience suffers less and saves his soul, while he who suffers with impatience suffers more and is lost. Our Lord does not send us crosses that we may be lost, as some impatient people say, but that thereby we may be saved and acquire more glory in Heaven. Sorrows, contradictions, and all other tribulations, when accepted with patience, become the brightest jewels in our heavenly crown. Whenever, then, we are in affliction, let us console ourselves and thank God for it, since it is a sign that God wishes us to be saved, by chastising us in this life, where the chastisements are but slight and short, so as not to punish us in the next, where the chastisements are terrible and eternal. Woe to the sinner who is prosperous in this life! It is a sign that God has reserved for him eternal punishment.
St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi says: “All sufferings, however great, become sweet when we look at Jesus on the Cross.” And St. Joseph Calasanctius: “He who cannot suffer for Jesus Christ, does not know how to gain Jesus Christ.” He, then, who loves Jesus Christ bears patiently all external crosses — sickness, pains, dishonour, loss of parents and friends; and all interior crosses — afflictions, weariness, temptations, and desolation of spirit, and bears them all in peace. On the other hand, he who is impatient and angry when in tribulation, only increases his suffering, and adds to his punishments in the next life.
O my Jesus, I deserve chastisement. I do not refuse it. I accept it. Preserve me only from the chastisement of being deprived of Thy love, and then do with me what Thou wilt. I love Thee, my dear Redeemer, I love Thee my God, and because I love Thee I wish to do whatever Thou willest. O Will of God, Thou art my love! O Blood of my God, Thou art my hope!
St. Teresa says: “the Cross is felt by those who drag it after them by force, but he who embraces it with a good will does not feel it.” Hence St. Philip Neri also said that in this world there is no Purgatory. It is either Heaven or hell. He who bears tribulation with patience is in Heaven, but he who does not is in hell. But you will say: “What evil have I done that I should be thus persecuted? Why have I had to suffer such an affront?” O Christian, go and speak thus to Jesus Christ on the Cross and He will answer: “And I, what have I done, that I should have to suffer such sorrow and ignominy, and this death of the Cross?” If, then, Jesus Christ has suffered so much for the love of you, it is not much that you should suffer this little for the love of Jesus Christ. Particularly if you have ever during your life committed some grievous sin, think that you deserve to be in hell, where you would have to suffer much greater contempt and persecution from the devils. If also you should be persecuted for having done good, rejoice exceedingly. Hear what Jesus Christ says: Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake (Matt. v. 10). Let us be convinced of the truth of what the Apostle says, that he who would live united with Jesus Christ in this world must be persecuted.
O Jesus, I will always say in whatever shall befall me, Thy will be done! My God, thus hast Thou willed, thus I will. My God, I wish only what Thou wishest and may Thy will be always accomplished in me. My Jesus, through Thy merits, grant me the grace always to repeat the beautiful dictate of love — Thy will be done! Thy will be done!