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Reflections: Catholic Life Section (Suffering & Death)

Anointing of the Sick

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Reflections: 

Catholic Life Section:

Suffering & Death

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Acceptance of Death

Adversity

Affliction

All Things Are From God

Cemeteries / Burial

The Cross / Crosses

Death & Dying [Pg.]

Death & Those We Love

Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows

Death is Not the End / Resurrection

Death of the Just

Death of the Wicked

Death / Pain

Ecclesiastical Funerals / Burial

Extreme Unction

Fear of Death

A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life

How One Dies is How One Remains Forever

Jesus' Death

Longing For Death

The Moment of Death

Necessity of / Reasons for Suffering

Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin

Pain

Praise of Death

Prayer For the Dead

Preparing For Death

Sickness / Illness

Sorrow / Sorrows

Suffering

Traditional Teaching on Cremation

Trials & Tribulations

Uncertain Moment of Death

Words of Advice

Words of Encouragement

Misc. (Suffering & Death)

Misc. (Death & Dying)

Also See...

Category
Quotation

Adversity

"Where does virtue prove itself if not in adversity?" (Bl. Henry Suso)

"This, in short, is the difference between us and others who know not God, that in misfortune they complain and murmur, while adversity does not call us away from the truth of virtue and faith, but strengthens us by its suffering." (St. Cyprian)

"To thank God in all things that are agreeable to us, is acceptable to him; but to accept with cheerfulness what is repugnant to our inclinations, is still more pleasing to him. Father M. Avila used to say, that 'a single blessed be God, in adversity, is better than six thousand thanksgivings in prosperity.'" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"If God sends you adversity, accept it with patience and give thanks for it to our Lord, realizing that you have deserved it and that it will be for your own good. If He gives you prosperity, thank Him humbly for it, so that the gift which should improve you may not, through pride or in any other way make you worse; for one should not use God's gifts to war against Him." (St. Louis IX)

Also See: Affliction | The Cross / Crosses | Life's Battle | Sorrow / Sorrows | Suffering | Trials & Tribulations | Affliction (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Affliction

"For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor. 4:17-18)

"Afflictions are the steps to heaven." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

"God measures out affliction according to our need." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"The man whom the Lord afflicts in this life has a certain proof that he is dear to God." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. The gift of grace increases as the struggles increase." (St. Rose of Lima)

"There is no man in the world without some trouble or affliction, though he be a king or a pope." (Thomas a Kempis)

"The truly loving heart loves God's good pleasure not in consolations only, but, and especially, in afflictions also." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"One and the same violence of affliction proves, purifies and melts the good, and condemns, wastes and casts out the bad." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Many would be willing to have afflictions provided that they be not inconvenienced by them." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"It is not enough to be afflicted because God wills it; but we must be so as He wills it, when He wills it, for as long as He wills it, and exactly in the manner in which it pleases Him." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately (when) He afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus, love themselves too much to love God with all their heart." (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)

"The spirit which on the one hand is afflicted on account of the defects of the present life, on the other hand is rejoiced, by the consideration of God's goodness, and by the hope of the Divine help." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"As this life is checkered by many and various afflictions, the faithful are to be particularly reminded that those who patiently bear all the trials and afflictions coming from the hand of God acquire abundant satisfaction and merit; whereas those who suffer with reluctance and impatience deprive themselves of all the fruits of satisfaction, merely enduring the punishment which the just judgment of God inflicts upon their sins." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If troubled by poverty, by sickness, by persecution, or afflictions and anxieties of any sort, let us be convinced that none of these things can happen to us without the permission of God, who is the supreme Arbiter of all things. We should, therefore, not suffer our minds to be too much disturbed by them, but bear up against them with fortitude, having always on our lips the words: The will of the Lord be done; and also those of holy Job, As it hath pleased the Lord, so it is done: blessed be the name of the Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Let us likewise, when we are afflicted by the miseries of this life, raise up our eyes to Heaven, and console ourselves, saying with a sign, Heaven! Heaven! Let us reflect that if we be faithful to God, all these sorrows, miseries, and fears will one day have an end, and we shall be admitted into that blessed country, where we shall enjoy complete happiness as long as God will be God. Behold, the saints are expecting us, Mary is expecting us, and Jesus stands with a crown in His hand, to make us kings in that eternal kingdom." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Seeing therefore that all our troubles, penalties, restraints, and afflictions are but means to remind us of our state and the dangers of our profession, and but seeds of eternal glory, how much soever they may seem covered and corrupted here on earth, let us solace ourselves in hope of our joyful harvest. We are but pilgrims here; we have no place of abode, but seek a future place of rest. If the way had been filled with pleasures, with true delights, we should easily have been drawn aside in our journey towards heaven, attracted and withheld by the pleasant view and desire of these allurements. God hath therefore made our journey tedious, uncomfortable and distressing, that we may hasten to our repose, and swiftly run over the course of this life." (St. Robert Southwell)

Also See: Adversity | The Cross / Crosses | Sickness / Illness | Sorrow / Sorrows | Suffering | Trials & Tribulations | Affliction (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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All Things Are From God

"'Good things and evil...are from God' (Eccl. 11:14). All blessings - such as riches and honors - and all misfortunes - such a sickness and persecutions - come from God. But mark that the Scripture calls them evils only because we, thorough a want of conformity to the will or God, regard them as evils and misfortunes. But, in reality, if we accepted them from the hands of God with Christian resignation, they should be blessings and not evils. The jewels which give the greatest splendor to the crown of the saints in Heaven, are the tribulations which they bore with patience, as coming from the hands the Lord. On hearing that the Sabeans had taken away all his oxen and asses, holy Job said: 'the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away' (Job 1:21). He did not say that the Lord gave, and that the Sabeans had taken away; but that the Lord gave, and that the Lord had taken away: and therefore he blessed the Lord, believing that all had happened through the divine will. 'As it hat pleased the Lord, so it is done: blessed be the name of the Lord' (ibid.)." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: God's Providence | God's Will | Adversity | Affliction | Trials & Tribulations | Our Father's Love (Reflections)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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The Cross / Crosses

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Death & Dying

Click here for 'Reflections' related to this topic, including:

Acceptance of Death

Cemeteries / Burial

Death & Those We Love

Death Becomes Evil Only By the Retribution Which Follows

Death is Not the End / Resurrection

Death of the Just

Death of the Wicked

Death / Pain

Ecclesiastical Funerals / Burial

Extreme Unction

Fear of Death

A Happy Death is Our Principal Concern In Life

How One Dies is How One Remains Forever

Longing For Death

The Moment of Death

Our Deaths & The Blessed Virgin

Praise of Death

Prayer For the Dead

Preparing For Death

Traditional Teaching on Cremation

Uncertain Moment of Death

Misc.

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Necessity of / Reasons for Suffering

"If things always went wrong, no one could endure it; if things always went well, everyone would become arrogant." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"A great servant of God once said that 'if some gall were not mingled in our earthly cup, we should be content with our exile, and think less of our own true country.'" (St. Theophane Venard)

"Take away all evil, and much good would go with it. God's care is to bring good out of the evils which happen, not to abolish them." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"You wonder why God, who is goodness itself, allows us to suffer... But, what would you think of a doctor who lost his patient because he was afraid to give him the necessary but unpleasant treatment?" (St. John Vianney)

"Pain and sorrow are the almost necessary medicines of the impetuosity of nature. Without these, men though men, are like spoilt children; they act as if they considered everything must give way to their own wishes and conveniences." (Cardinal Newman)

"But God in His good Providence allows so many terrors, sorrows, and dangers to be put in our way by our enemy that He may break down our spirit, give us lowly hearts, and train us to submissiveness of mind and humility, so that we may never in the future feel any trust in our own prudence, but all entire trust in His Divine Protection." (St. Francis Xavier)

"But different kinds of sufferings are imposed on us to test and prove us, and many forms of temptations are inflicted upon us by loss of wealth, burning fevers, torments of wounds, by the death of dear ones. Nothing else distinguishes the unjust and the just more than this, that in adversities the unjust man complains and blasphemes because of impatience, while the just man is proved by patience, as it is written: 'I thy sorrow endure and in thy humiliation keep patience, for gold and silver are tried in fire.'" (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"[T]he punishments inflicted by God under the Christian dispensation are part of his justice and mercy, and have a moral purpose; they lead us to realize more vividly that life is an undeserved gift from God; they lead us to employ our lives in those activities by which the moral purpose of our existence is fulfilled; they lead us to become more helpful and compassionate to our neighbors; they allow us to expiate our sins and those of others." (Amerio)

Also See: Suffering & Death | Suffering | Adversity | Affliction | All Things Are From God | The Cross / Crosses | Trials & Tribulations | Words of Advice (Suffering) | Words of Encouragement (Suffering) | Suffering (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Pain

Also See: Sickness / Illness (Topic Page)

"So great is the good which I expect that all pain is to me a delight." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"There is nothing more tragic in all the world than wasted pain." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"The moment a soul recognizes that there may be a joy in pain which is absent from pleasure, she has taken the first step towards the practical solution of the problem of pain." (Benson)

"Can you expect to go to heaven for nothing? Did not our dear Savior track the whole way to it with His tears and blood? And yet you start at every little pain." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton) 

"[P]ain suffered in this life voluntarily cleanses much more than pain inflicted after death... the pain of martyrdom is of short duration in comparison with the pain endured in purgatory." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"All the pains in a hundred thousand million Hells suffered with the greatest perfection possible to a human creature would have been nothing compared to the smallest sigh of Our Lord, to the smallest drop of blood that he shed for love of us." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Pain and sorrow are the almost necessary medicines of the impetuosity of nature. Without these, men though men, are like spoilt children; they act as if they considered everything must give way to their own wishes and conveniences." (Cardinal Newman)

"An unpitied pain wins greater merit before God. Never say to God: 'Enough,' simply say: 'I am ready!' When it is all over, you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little and suffered that little so badly." (Bl. Sebastian Valfre) 

"Reason should dominate pain, for our Redeemer has sanctified pain and by so doing he has given us Christians a right way of facing it. For us, pain does not come to hurt and destroy but to raise to the heights. None of God's works happen by chance, they have all been arranged by Divine Wisdom, God has His reasons for everything that comes to pass." (St. Placid Riccardi)

"External sense perceives only what is present; but the interior cognitive power can perceive the present, past and future. Consequently sorrow can regard present, past and future: whereas bodily pain, which follows apprehension of the external sense, can only regard something present." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"When a person is healthy, his eyes are, for the most part, looking to the earth; when he is flat on his back, his eyes look to Heaven. Perhaps it is truer to say that Heaven looks down on him. In such moments when fever, agony, and pain make it hard to pray, the suggestion of prayer that comes from merely holding the Rosary - or better still, for caressing the Crucifix at the end of it - is tremendous. Because our prayers are known by heart, the heart can now pour them out and thus fulfill the scriptural injunction to 'pray always'. Prisoners of war during World War II have told me how the Rosary enabled men to pray, almost continuously, for days before their death. The favorite mysteries then were generally the sorrowful ones, for by meditating on the suffering of Our Savior on the Cross, men were inspired to unite their pains with Him, so that, sharing in His Cross, they might also share in His Resurrection." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"When one is in pain, it is natural that the sympathy of a friend should afford consolation: whereof the Philosopher indicates a twofold reason (Ethica Nicomachea ix,11). The first is because, since sorrow has a depressing effect, it is like a weight whereof we strive to unburden ourselves: so that when a man sees others saddened by his own sorrow, it seems as though others were bearing the burden with him, striving, as it were, to lessen its weight; wherefore the load of sorrow becomes lighter for him: something like what occurs in the carrying of bodily burdens. The second and better reason is because when a man's friends condole with him, he sees that he is loved by them, and this affords him pleasure... Consequently, since every pleasure assuages sorrow...it follows that sorrow is mitigated by a sympathizing friend." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit; and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follow in the blood-stained footprints of his Savior. 'If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.' Christ's labors and sufferings, accepted of His own free will, have marvelously sweetened all suffering and all labor. And not only by His example, but by His grace and by the hope held forth of everlasting recompense, has He made pain and grief more easy to endure; 'for that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891) 

"Interior and exterior pain agree in one point and differ in two. They agree in this, that each is a movement of the appetitive power... But they differ in respect of those two things which are requisite for pain and pleasure; namely, in respect of the cause, which is a conjoined good or evil; and in respect of the apprehension. For the cause of outward pain is a conjoined evil repugnant to the body; while the cause of inward pain is a conjoined evil repugnant to the appetite. Again, outward pain arises from an apprehension of sense, chiefly of touch; while inward pain arises from an interior apprehension, of the imagination or of the reason. If then we compare the cause of inward pain to the cause of outward pain, the former belongs, of itself, to the appetite to which both these pains belong: while the latter belongs to the appetite directly. Because inward pain arises from something being repugnant to the appetite itself, while outward pain arises from something being repugnant to the appetite, through being repugnant to the body. Now, that which is of itself is always prior to that which is by reason of another. Wherefore, from this point of view, inward pain surpasses outward pain. In like manner also on the part of apprehension: because the apprehension of reason and imagination is of a higher order than the apprehension of the sense of touch. Consequently inward pain is, simply and of itself, more keen than outward pain: a sign whereof is that one willingly undergoes outward pain in order to avoid inward pain: and in so far as outward pain is not repugnant to the interior appetite, it becomes in a manner pleasant and agreeable by way of inward joy. Sometimes, however, outward pain is accompanied by inward pain, and then the pain is increased. Because inward pain is not only greater than outward pain, it is also more universal: since whatever is repugnant to the body, can be repugnant to the interior appetite; and whatever is apprehended by sense may be apprehended by imagination and reason, but not conversely. Hence...it is said expressively: 'Sadness of the heart is every wound,' because even the pains of outward wounds are comprised in the interior sorrows of the heart." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") 

Also See: The Cross / Crosses | Suffering | Sickness / Illness | Death / Pain | Words of Advice (Suffering) | Words of Encouragement (Suffering) | Pain (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Sickness / Illness

Also See: Sickness / Illness (Topic Page)

"Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven." (Jms. 5:14-15) [Note: This refers to the Sacrament of Extreme Unction (or Anointing of the Sick). For more information, see the Sacraments section] 

"Make sickness itself a prayer." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"[W]hat physicians may not, Jesus Christ can always do!" (Liturgical Year)

"Not infrequently, illness is an opportunity to correct one's faults." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"There is greater grace in the infirmity of the body than in its soundness." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"Whenever you help a sick person, you are a sign of Christ's compassion for all who suffer." (Pope John Paul II)

"Though abstinence and prayer be of great merit, yet sickness, suffered with patience, is of much greater." (St. Pachomius)

"[P]riests must be solicitous for the sick and the dying, visiting them and strengthening them in the Lord." (Second Vatican Council)

"O my God, how good thou art. Thou does use the very sickness of man's body to heal the soul." (St. Anthony Mary Claret)

"At the hour of your death you will see that you have saved more souls by your illness than by all the good works you might have accomplished in health." (St. John Vianney)

"Every illness and every trial is permitted by God as the means whereby we can best ensure our salvation and as the material most fitted for our sanctification." (Bl. Sebastian Valfre)

"In the same way that a powerful medicine cures an illness, so illness itself is a medicine to cure passion. And there is much profit of soul in bearing illness quietly and giving thanks to God." (St. Syncletice)

"We must have a great confidence in God in times of illness or grief, because it is precisely then that God waits to see whether or not we shall put our trust in him." (St. John Vianney)

"We must remember that all incapacity and distress is sent to us by God. Life and death, health and sickness, are all ordered by Him; and in whatever form they come, it is always to help us and for our good." (St. Vincent de Paul)

"Man was created to praise, honor and serve God. We therefore no more prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to disdain, long life to short, but desire and choose only that which more surely conduces toward the end for which we were created." (St. Ignatius Loyola)

"That illness has been your salvation. You have suffered, but your life has not been in danger. This is what the Lord has said; 'I will strike him, and I will cure him.' He has struck you, your illness has awakened your faith, and that has been your cure." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"If when we are ill, our recovery will contribute to the glory of God and the good of our soul, he who healed so many when he was on earth, will certainly heal us. If, on the contrary, the illness is more advantageous to us, he will instead give us the strength to suffer." (St. John Vianney)

"The body is a help to the soul that loves God, even when it is ill, even when it is dead, and all the more when it is raised again from the dead: for illness is aid to penitence; death is the gate of rest; and the resurrection will bring consummation." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"We can tell him all the secrets of our heart, disclosing our want and misery to him who alone can remedy them, and saying: O friend of my heart, she whom thou lovest is sick. Visit and heal me, for I well know that thou canst not love me and yet leave me alone in my distress." (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)

"The sick on the other hand are to be admonished to realize that they are sons of God by the very fact that the scourge of discipline chastises them. For unless it were His plan to give them an inheritance after their chastisements, He would not trouble to school them in affliction." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"Yes, Lord, if it please you, cure me. I will not refuse any work. If I can be of service to a few souls, grant, O Lord, by the intercession of your most holy Mother, to return me to such health as will not be contrary to the welfare of my soul. Please God, let me live, if it be your will." (St. John Bosco)

"And I beg the sick brother to give thanks to the Creator for everything; and whether healthy or sick, since all those whom God has predestined for everlasting life (cf. Acts 13:48) He instructs by means of the afflictions of punishment and sickness in the spirit of repentance. As the Lord says: I correct and punish those whom I love (Rv. 3:19)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"It is not enough to be ill because such is God's will, but we must be ill as he wills, when he wills, and how long it pleases him, entrusting our health to whatever he ordains for us, without asking for anything. We must let him act and, without trying to foresee what is requisite for our cure, we must abandon to our superiors and leave the care of ourselves to them. We are not to concern ourselves with anything but bearing our illness as long as God pleases." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church) [Note: This should not be taken to mean that one should refrain from seeking appropriate medical care.]

"For He comes when He hastens to judgment, but He knocks, when already by the pain of sickness He denotes that death is at hand; to whom we immediately open if we receive Him with love. For he who trembles to depart from the body, has no wish to open to the Judge knocking, and dreads to see that Judge whom he remembers to have despised. But he who rests secure concerning his hope and works, immediately opens to Him that knocks; for when he is aware of the time of death drawing near, he grows joyful, because of the glory of his reward; and hence it is added, Blessed are the servants whom the Lord when he comes shall find watching. He watches who keeps the eyes of his mind open to behold the true light; who by his works maintains that which he beholds, who drives from himself the darkness of sloth and carelessness." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church) 

"Behold the kindness of the Patriarch (Lk. 16:19-31); he calls him son, (which may express his tenderness) yet gives no aid to him who had deprived himself of cure. Therefore he says, Remember, that is, consider the past, forget not that you delighted in your riches, and you received good things in your life, that is, such as you thought to be good. You could not both have triumphed on earth, and triumph here. Riches can not be true both on earth and below. It follows, And Lazarus likewise evil things; not that Lazarus thought them evil, but he spoke this according to the opinion of the rich man, who thought poverty, and hunger, and severe sickness, evils. When the heaviness of sickness harasses us, let us think of Lazarus, and joyfully accept evil things in this life." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Down through the centuries and generations it has been seen that in suffering there is concealed a particular power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ, a special grace. To this grace many saints, such as Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Ignatius of Loyola and others, owe their profound conversion. A result of such a conversion is not only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as it were, of his entire life and vocation. This discovery is a particular confirmation of the spiritual greatness which in man surpasses the body in a way that is completely beyond compare. When this body is gravely ill, totally incapacitated, and the person is almost incapable of living and acting, all the more do interior maturity and spiritual greatness become evident, constituting a touching lesson to those who are healthy and normal. This interior maturity and spiritual greatness in suffering are certainly the result of a particular conversion and cooperation with the grace of the Crucified Redeemer." (Pope John Paul II)

"When you are ill, be sure to be gentle and kind, and do not chafe if those serving you sometimes neglect you, or if the brethren rarely visit you. Think of Jesus, forsaken on his Cross, and stop complaining about trifling inconveniences. Ask Jesus to come to you and seek your support in him, for he can change your desolation into consolation. Forget about this world's disappointing comforts and do not fret about whether your friends love you; rather desire that the angels always be your companions and ask the saints to pray for you. Lift up your eyes to the Crucified and meditate on his sacred wounds. Implore the glorious Virgin by pouring out a special prayer in her honor, for she alone stood staunchly at the foot of the Cross and heard Jesus crying out in a loud voice to the Father. Clear your head of all worldly thoughts and images and concentrate on your heavenly homeland. Christ God as your Father, Jesus and your brother, Mary as your mother, the angels as your friends, and the saints as your relatives. For you are descended from a noble and distinguished family - not according to the flesh but in the freedom of the Spirit. Surrounded by such spiritual defenses and with so many dear patrons upon whom you can call for assistance, you can confidently wait the day of the final Judgment and anchor your hope in the goodness of the merciful Savior." (Thomas a Kempis)

Also See: Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction) | Sacrament of Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick (Reflections) | Suffering | Pain | Trials & Tribulations | Words of Advice (Suffering) | Words of Encouragement (Suffering) | Misc. (Suffering & Death) | Uncertain Moment of Death | Preparing For Death | The Moment of Death | Death / Pain | Sickness (Topical Scripture) | Sacraments Section | Extreme Unction/Anointing of the Sick (Topical Scripture)

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Sorrow / Sorrows

"Our Lord does not leave us comfortless when He sends us sorrow." (Benson)

"Sorrow is given us on purpose to cure us of sin." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Hearts could bear sorrows more readily if they could be assured that they came directly from God." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"All the joys of this life are accompanied by sorrows: if they were not, we would grow too much absorbed in them." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"God is touched by our sorrows and does not allow them to last forever. He takes pleasure in trying our love for a time because he sees that trials purify us and render us worthy to receive his greater graces." (St. Claude de la Colombiere)

"If Mary, who was sinless, would with joy accept a Sword from Divine sinlessness, then who of us, who are guilty of sin, shall ever complain if the same Jesus permits us a sorrow for the remission of our sins?" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"Pain and sorrow are the almost necessary medicines of the impetuosity of nature. Without these, men though men, are like spoilt children; they act as if they considered everything must give way to their own wishes and conveniences." (Cardinal Newman)

"Now pain or sorrow for that which is truly evil cannot be the greatest evil: for there is something worse, namely, either not to reckon as evil that which is really evil, or not to reject it." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If the Father gave His Son a Cross and the Mother a sword, then somehow sorrow does fit into the Divine plan of life. If Divine Innocence and His Mother, who was a sinless creature, both underwent agonies, it cannot be that life is a snare and a mockery, but rather it is made clear that love and sorrow often go together in this life and that only in the next life is sorrow left behind." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"With the heart of a father We exhort all those who from whatever cause are plunged in grief and anguish to lift their eyes trustfully to heaven and to offer their sorrows to Him who will one day reward them abundantly. Let them all remember that their sufferings are not in vain, but that they will turn to their own immense gain and that of the Church, if to this end they bear them with patience." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

"A thing may be good or evil in two ways: first considered simply and in itself; and thus all sorrow is an evil, because the mere fact of a man's appetite being uneasy about a present evil, is itself an evil, because it hinders the response of the appetite in good. Secondly, a thing is said to be good or evil, on the supposition of something else: thus shame is said to be good, on the supposition of a shameful deed done, as stated in Ethica Nicomachea iv,9. Accordingly, supposing the presence of something saddening or painful, it is a sign of goodness if a man is in sorrow or pain on account of this present evil. For if he were not to be in sorrow or pain, this could only be either because he feels it not, or because he does not reckon it as something unbecoming, both of which are manifest evils. Consequently it is a condition of goodness, that, supposing an evil to be present, sorrow or pain should ensue. Wherefore Augustine says (De Genesi ad literam viii,14): 'It is also a good thing that he sorrows for the good he has lost: for had not some good remained in his nature, he could not be punished by the loss of good.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Adversity | Affliction | All Things Are From God | The Cross / Crosses | Suffering | Trials & Tribulations | Death & Those We Love | Sorrow (Topical Scripture)

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Suffering

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Trials & Tribulations

"For those times will have tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of God's creation until now, nor ever will be. If the Lord had not shortened those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect whom he chose, he did shorten the days." (Mk. 13:19-20)

"Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 21:36)

"Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 8:13)

"No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13)

"Endure your trials as 'discipline'; God treats you as sons. For what 'son' is there whom his father does not discipline?" (Heb. 12:7)

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (Jms. 1:2-4)

"In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Pt. 1:6-7)

"Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly." (1 Pt. 4:12-13)

"In sending us tribulations, God intends to make us saints." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Trials show clearly how pleasing a work is to God." (St. John Vianney)

"A true Christian is proved in the fire of tribulation." (St. Robert Southwell)

"[Faith] grows brighter and stronger under trial." (Liturgical Year)

"Almighty God sends no trial without consolation." (St. John Vianney)

"There is only one things to be feared...only one trial, and that is sin." (St. Robert Southwell)

"Tribulations not only do not destroy hope; they are its foundation" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"What do you think the bed of tribulation is? It is simply the school of humility." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Melancholy is the poison of devotion. When one is in tribulation, it is necessary to be more happy and more joyful because one is nearer to God." (St. Clare of Assisi)

"Comfort in tribulation can be secured only on the sure ground of faith holding as true the words of Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church." (St. Thomas More)

"I am to go through many trials and temptations, all difficult, and some of them perhaps severe. If I love thee, I shall triumph over them all." (From 'Act of Obligation')

"We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"I pray God may open your eyes and let you see what hidden treasures He bestows on us in the trials from which the world thinks only to flee." (St. John of Avila)

"It is clear that, since God leads those whom He most loves by the way of trials, the more He loves them the greater will be their trials." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"Know, however, that if you are to be a friend of God, you must prepare yourself for trials, for without them all your virtues is like an unwalled city, which falls at the first onslaught." (St. John of Avila)

"Patience is a perfect sacrifice that we can offer to God, because in our trials we do nothing but accept from His hands the cross that He sends us." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"The jewels which give the greatest splendor to the crown of the saints in heaven are the tribulations which they bore with patience, as coming from the hands of the Lord." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Every illness and every trial is permitted by God as the means whereby we can best ensure our salvation and as the material most fitted for our sanctification." (Bl. Sebastian Valfre)

"We may know with certainty that nothing belongs to us except our vices and sins. We must rejoice, instead, when we fall into various trials and, in this world, suffer every kind of anguish or distress of soul and body for the sake of eternal life." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Indeed however many trials and persecutions we undergo, they all contribute to our greater gain, so long as we bear them without offending the Lord, but rejoice that we are suffering for His sake." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"He submitted Himself to the elements, to cold and heat, hunger and thirst... Concealing His power and giving it up, taking on the likeness of man, so that He might teach us weak and wretched mortals with what patience we ought to bear tribulations." (Bl. Angela of Foligno)

"For as the toils of the contests bring athletes their crowns, so the test which comes to Christians through their tribulations leads them on to perfection, if with fitting patience in all thanksgiving we accept the Lord's dispensations." (St. Basil)

"And I glory in tribulations if I have been counted worthy to endure any for the sake of the Church. This, truly, is my glory and the lifting up of my head: the triumph of the Church. For if we have been sharers of her troubles, we shall be also of her consolation. We must work and suffer with our mother." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"Great indeed are the advantages of tribulations. The Lord sends them to us not because he wishes our misfortune, but because he desires our welfare. Hence, when they come upon us, we must embrace them with thanksgiving, and must not only resign ourselves to the divine will, but must also rejoice that God treats us as he treated his son Jesus Christ, whose life upon this Earth was always full of tribulation." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive for love of You and endure infirmities and tribulations. Blessed are those who shall endure them in peace, for by You, Most High, they will be crowned! Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no living man can escape! Woe to those who shall die in mortal sin! Blessed are those whom she will find in Your most holy will, for the Second Death will not harm them." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"But, how great is the folly of those who resist the divine will, and instead of receiving tribulations with patience, get into a rage, and accuse God of treating them with injustice and cruelty! Perhaps they expect that, in consequence of their opposition, what God wills shall not happen? 'Who resists his will?' (Rom. 9:19). Miserable men! Instead of lightening the cross which God sends them, they make it more heavy and painful. 'Who hath resisted him, and hath peace?' (Job 9:4). Let us be resigned to the divine will, and we shall thus render our crosses light, and shall gain great treasures of merits for eternal life. In sending us tribulations, God intends to make us saints." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"But St. Augustine, in a special manner, notices the connections that exist between the sentiments of the Incarnate Word and their purpose, man's redemption. 'These affections of human infirmity, even as the human body itself and death, the Lord Jesus put on not out of necessity, but freely out of compassion so that He might transform in Himself His Body, which is the Church of which He deigned to be the Head, that is, His members who are among the faithful and the saints, so that if any of them in the trials of this life should be saddened and afflicted they should not therefore think that they are deprived of His grace. Nor should they consider this sorrow a sin, but a sign of human weakness. Like a choir singing in harmony with the note that has been sounded, so should His Body learn from its Head.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956)

"It is the reflection of St. Austin, that if, with the martyrs, we seriously considered the rewards that await us, we should account all trouble and pains in this life as nothing; and should be astonished that the divine bounty gives so great a salary for so little labor. To obtain eternal rest, should require, if it had been possible, eternal labor; to purchase a happiness without bounds, a man should be willing to suffer for a whole eternity. That indeed is impossible; but our trials might have been very long. What are a thousand years, or ten hundred thousand ages, in comparison to eternity? There can be no proportion between what is finite, and that which is infinite. Yet God in his great mercy does not bid us suffer so long. He says, not a million, or a thousand years, or even five hundred, but only labor the few years that you live; and in these the dew of my consolations shall not be wanting; and I will recompense your patience for all with a glory that has no era. Though we were to be loaded with miseries, pain, and grief our whole life, the thoughts of heaven alone ought to make us bear its sharpest trials with cheerfulness and joy." (Butler) 

Also See: Adversity | Affliction | All Things Are From God | The Cross / Crosses | Christians Are Made | Life's Battle | Sorrow / Sorrows | Suffering

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Words of Advice

"Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you." (1 Pt. 5:7)

"Bear everything with peace." (St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)

"While we are living, it is never too late to repent"

"[N]othing can be gained without labor. Do not begrudge the labor"

"Troubles melt away before a fervent prayer like snow before the sun." (St. John Vianney)

"There is no other remedy for your ills but patience and submission to the will of God." (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)

"When something distasteful or unpleasant comes your way, remember Christ crucified and be silent." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

"If something irritating or troublesome happens, instead of loading with cursing whatever is not going the way we want it to, it would be just as easy and a great deal more beneficial for us to say: 'God bless it!'." (St. John Vianney)

"He bore however all these insults silently. Yet do you, when you hear of them keep steadfastly in your mind the King of the whole earth, and Lord of Angels bearing all these contumelies in silence, and imitate His example." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"In all the vicissitudes of life such as illness, losses, and so on, be ever mindful to bow with resignation to the Will of God, and repose on these words: 'God will have it so; so it be done.'" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"And so anything that takes places does so according to the will of our Creator. Who can oppose the will of God? And so let us accept what happens, for if we react with anger we will be unable to cope with whatever happens and will ourselves be destroyed." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"If troubled by poverty, by sickness, by persecution, or afflictions and anxieties of any sort, let us be convinced that none of these things can happen to us without the permission of God, who is the supreme Arbiter of all things. We should, therefore, not suffer our minds to be too much disturbed by them, but bear up against them with fortitude, having always on our lips the words: The will of the Lord be done; and also those of holy Job, As it hath pleased the Lord, so it is done: blessed be the name of the Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"We are all convinced of the truth of these words of Job, that model of patience: Man, born of woman, and living for a short time, is filled with many miseries. He cometh forth like a flower, and is destroyed, and fleeth as a shadow, an never continueth in the same state. That no day passes without its own trouble or annoyance is proved by these words of Christ our Lord: Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Indeed, the condition of human life is pointed out by the Lord Himself, when He admonishes us that we are to take up our cross daily and follow Him. Since, therefore, everyone must realize the trials and dangers inseparable from this life, it will not be difficult to convince the faithful that they ought to implore of God deliverance from evil, since no inducement to prayer exercises a more powerful influence over men than a desire and hope of deliverance from those evils which oppress or threaten them. There is in the heart of everyone a natural inclination to have instant recourse to God in the face of danger, as it is written: Fill their face with shame, and they shall seek thy name, O Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Adversity | Affliction | The Cross / Crosses | Pain | Sickness / Illness | Sorrow / Sorrows | Suffering | Trials & Tribulations | Words of Encouragement (Suffering) | Suffering & Death | Misc. (Suffering & Death)

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Words of Encourage-

ment

"After big storms there follow bright days." (Bl. Henry Suso)

"[W]ithout the battle there is no victory" (St.. John of Avila)

"Whether pleasant or painful, the present does not last forever." (St. Robert Southwell)

"The crown of victory is promised only to those who engage in the struggle." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Whatever good or evil befalls you, be confident that God will convert it all to your good." (St. Jane Frances de Chantal)

"But what else is it to live happily, except to know what one has something eternally?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 393 A.D.)

"A merchant does not consider the trouble he undergoes in his commerce, but the profit he gains by it." (St. John Vianney)

"He did not say: You will not be troubled - you will not be tempted - you will not be distressed. But He said: You will not be overcome." {"Blessed" Julian of Norwich}

"You are children of eternity. Your immortal crown awaits you, to reward your duty and love. You may indeed sow here in tears, but you may be sure there to reap in joy." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

"Cast your care upon God for you are his and he will not forget you. Do not think that he is leaving you alone, for that would be wrong to him." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

"Let them not, however, lose heart; to face bitter combats is a mark of Christians, and to endure grave labors to the end is a mark of them who, as good soldiers of Christ, follow Him closely." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"All is dreary till we believe - what our hearts tell us - that we are all subjects of God's governance; nothing is dreary, all inspires hope and trust, directly we understand that we are under His hand, and that whatever comes to us is from Him as a method of discipline and guidance." (Cardinal Newman)

"I will always keep in mind this truth: all that happens to me is a disposition and an effect of your Providence, firmly convinced that you take as much care of me as if I were the only one in the world. And so, peaceful and contended in all, I will live and die under the reign and the direction of your divine Providence" (Bl. John Martin Moye)

Also See: All Things Are From God | Affliction | The Cross / Crosses | Necessity of / Reasons for Suffering | Suffering | Sorrow / Sorrows | Trials & Tribulations | Words of Advice (Suffering) | Misc. (Suffering & Death)

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Misc.

"In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Tm. 3:12)

"We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies." (Rom 8:22-23)

"God is with me, I want nothing on the earth." (Ven. Pierre Toussaint)

"What was done on Calvary avails for us only in the degree that we repeat it in our own lives." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"[W]hen we give way to feelings of human grief: we lose sight of that God who comes to cheer us by his presence along the path of our exile." (Gueranger)

"Thank and sweetly kiss the hand of God that strikes you, because it is always the hand of a Father who strikes you because he loves you." [St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)]

"The crown of victory is promised only to those who engage in the struggle." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"If things always went wrong, no one could endure it; if things always went well, everyone would become arrogant." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"I am fed upon the bread of tribulation and the water of affliction, but nevertheless, I have not given up, and I will not give up, doing my duty." (Pope St. Silverius)

"Nothing is harder to bear than those things which wound our self-love; but if we thought of the humiliations suffered by Jesus Christ at Bethlehem, should we ever dare to complain?" (St. John Vianney)

"We should not be concerned only about our weaknesses, but we should also consider that the problems of others afflict us and are on the same level as our own." (Pope Clement XIII)

"I have made a contract with my body: It has promised to accept harsh treatment from me on earth, and I have promised that it shall receive eternal rest in heaven." (St. Peter of Alcantara)

"God can dispose of me according to his pleasure; he can take from me fortune, health, honor, life; my duty is to receive everything from his hand with submission and without complaint." (St. Ignatius Loyola)

"If I want only pure water, what does it matter to me whether it be brought in a vase of gold or of glass? What is it to me whether the will of God be presented to me in tribulation or consolation, since I desire and seek only the divine will?" (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"It is in this life that the basis is laid on which a person deserves to have his condition in the afterlife alleviated or aggravated; and therefore let no one hope that what he neglected to do here he will merit with God when he dies." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century)

"I will place all my confidence in your Providence, knowing that you will either preserve me from the evils I dread or give me the strength to bear them patiently and so make them salutary to me, turning them to my good and your glory." (Bl. John Martin Moye)

"[A] Christian may reasonably take misfortune and treat it as an expiation, penalty or correction for his own sins or those of others, given the fact that he is in some sense a sinner, and that the attainment of true virtue is incomparably more important than any suffering." (Amerio)

"Would it, then, be fair to hesitate to go through those toils which procure heaven for us, and are a preparation here on earth for the glories which are to be revealed in us for our eternal home? The present life, how long soever it may be, seems but momentary to a faithful soul; she is glad to give this proof of the love she bears to Him she longs for." (Liturgical Year)

"We must not think that God tests us in order to lead us to evil, for that simply cannot be. He tests his most beloved servants so that they might prove their love and fidelity for him, and that they might accomplish great and shining works, as he did with Abraham when he commanded him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church) 

"Shall we base worms, who have nothing to boast of before men only our having concealed from them our baseness and ignominy, and to whom the most cruel outrages from creatures would be too mild a treatment, considering our sins, shall we, I say, complain of injuries which we ought to receive with patience and joy as the easy means of canceling our own sins, and procuring for ourselves the greatest graces and mercy?" (Butler)

"[St. Paul], an able wrestler, urges us on in the struggle for immortality, so that we may receive a crown, and so that we may regard as a precious crown that which we acquire by our own struggle, and which does not grow on us spontaneously. And because it comes to us in a struggle, it is therefore the more precious; and as it is the more precious, let us love it always the more. Those things which come to us spontaneously are not loved as much as those which are obtained by anxious care." (St. Irenaeus)

"Will there be hope in heaven? There will no longer be hope, when the reality will be present. For hope itself is necessary on our pilgrimage, by which hope we are consoled on the way. For a wayfarer, when he expend himself in walking, can tolerate that labor, because he hopes for his goal. Take way his hope of achievement, and immediately his strength for walking is broken. So too the hope which we have now belongs to the righteousness of our pilgrimage." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)

"As to our carrying this treasure in frail vessels, we must not, on that account, lose heart, but rather rejoice in this weakness, which makes God's power all the more evident; we must take our miseries, and even death itself, and turn them into profit, by giving the stronger manifestation of our Lord Jesus' life in this our mortal flesh. What matters it to our faith and our hope, if our outward man is gradually falling to decay, when the inner is being renewed day by day? The light and transitory suffering of the present is producing within us an eternal weight of glory. Let us, then, fix our gaze not on what is seen, but what is unseen; the visible passes, the invisible is eternal (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7-18)" (Liturgical Year)

"In what then can you glory? For if you were so subtle and wise that you had all the knowledge and knew how to interpret all tongues and minutely investigate the heavenly bodies, in all these things you could not glory, for one demon knew more about the things of earth than all men together, even if there may have been someone who received from the Lord a special knowledge of the highest wisdom. Likewise, even if you were more handsome and richer than everyone else and even if you performed wonders such as driving out demons, all those things would be an obstacle to you and none of them would belong to you nor could you glory in any of these things. But in this we can glory: in our infirmities (cf. 2 Cor. 12:5) and bear daily the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Lk. 14:27)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"On Easter Day the Savior will bear the scars of His Passion to prove that love is stronger than death. But will not Mary bear also the hidden scar of the seven thrusts of the Sword in her own soul? The Resurrection will be the sheathing of the sword for both, as the debt of sin is paid and man is redeemed. No one can tell the griefs that either bore, and no one can tell the holiness that she achieved through sharing, as much as she could as a creature, in His act of redemption. From that day on, God will permit sorrows, griefs, and dolors to His Christians, but they will only be pinpricks of the Sword compared to what He suffered and Mary endured. The Sword that Christ ran into His own heart and Mary's soul has become so blunted by the pressings that it can never wound so fiercely again. When the Sword does come, we must, like Mary, see 'the shade of His hand outstretched caressingly'." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Also See: Affliction | All Things Are From God | The Cross / Crosses | Necessity of / Reasons for Suffering | Suffering | Misc. (Death & Dying) | Suffer (Topical Scripture)

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