Let us bless pain. Love pain. Sanctify pain… Glorify pain!
A whole programme for a good course in the 'subject' of suffering is given to us by the Apostle: spe gaudentes — rejoicing in hope, In tribulatione patientes — patient in troubles, orationi instantes — persevering in prayer.
Atonement: this is the path that leads to Life.
In the deep pit opened by your humility, let penance bury your negligences, offences and sins. Just as the gardener buries rotten fruit, dried twigs and fallen leaves at the foot of the very trees which produced them. And so what was useless, what was even harmful, can make a real contribution to a new fruitfulness.
From the falls learn to draw strength: from death, life.
That Christ you see is not Jesus. It is only the pitiful image that your blurred eyes are able to form… — Purify yourself. Clarify your sight with humility and penance. Then… the pure light of Love will not be denied you. And you will have perfect vision. The image you see will be really his: his!
Jesus suffers to carry out the will of the Father. And you, who also want to carry out the most holy Will of God, following the steps of the Master, can you complain if you meet suffering on your way?
Say to your body: I would rather keep you in slavery than be myself a slave of yours.
How afraid people are of atonement! If all that they do for appearance's sake, to please the world, were done with purified intention for God… what saints many would be!
You are crying? Don't be ashamed of it. Yes, cry: men also cry like you, when they are alone and before God. Each night, says King David, I soak my bed with tears. With those tears, those burning, manly tears, you can purify your past and supernaturalize your present life.
I want you to be happy on earth. And you will not be happy if you don't lose that fear of suffering. For, as long as we are 'wayfarers', it is precisely in suffering that our happiness lies.
How beautiful it is to give up this life for that Life!
If you realize that those sufferings — of body or soul — mean purification and merit, bless them.
'God give you health.' — Doesn't this wish for mere physical well-being, with which some beggars demand or acknowledge alms, leave a bad taste in your mouth?
If we are generous in voluntary atonement Jesus will fill us with grace to love the trials he sends us.
Let your will exact from your senses, by means of atonement, what your other faculties deny your will in prayer.
Of how little value is penance without constant self— denial!
You are afraid of penance?… Of penance, which will help you to obtain Life everlasting. And yet, in order to preserve this poor present life, don't you see how men will submit to all the cruel torture of a surgical operation?
Your greatest enemy is your own self.
Treat your body with charity, but with no more charity than you would show towards a treacherous enemy.
If you realize that your body is your enemy, and an enemy of God's glory, since it is an enemy of your sanctification, why do you treat it so softly?
'Have a good time to-night', they said, as usual. And the comment of a soul very close to God was, 'What a limited wish!'
With you, Jesus, what joy in suffering, what light in darkness!
You are suffering! Listen: 'His' Heart is not smaller than ours. — You are suffering? There is good in suffering.
A strict fast is a penance most pleasing to God. But, what with one thing and another, we have become a bit too easy-going. There is no objection — on the contrary — if you, with the approval of your Director, fast frequently.
Motives for penance? — Atonement, reparation, petition, thanksgiving: means to progress: for you, for me, for others, for your family, for your country, for the Church… And a thousand motives more.
Don't do more penance than your Director allows you.
How we ennoble suffering, giving it its right place (atonement) in the spiritual order!