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Tuesday after First Sunday of The Passion


From book "Divine Intimacy - Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day Of The Liturgical Year"... Presence of God O Jesus, meek and divinely patie...

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Divine Intimacy

Fr. Gabriel

Presence of God

O Jesus, meek and divinely patient, teach me the secret of true patience.


I. Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature, without allowing ourselves to be depressed by the sadness which easily comes over us when we meet with disagreeable things.

Patience is a special aspect of the virtue offortitude which prevents our deviating from the right road when we encounter obstacles. It is an illusion to believe in a life without difficulties. These are usually all the greater and the more frequent as our undertakings are more generous. Great works, magnanimous and heroic virtues, always grow in the midst of difficulties. In the presence of these, fortitude has a double function: to face them and to bear them. Many difficulties are surmounted and overcome by an act of courage; others, on the contrary, cannot be mastered. We must learn to bear with them, and this is the role of patience—-an arduous task, because it is easier to face obstacles directly, than to support the inevitable oppositions and sufferings of life, which, in time, tend to discourage and sadden us.

Only by fixing our glance on Jesus, the divinely patient One, can we learn to practise patience. When we see Him who came into the world to save us, living from the first moment of His earthly existence in want, privation, and poverty, and later in the midst of misunderstanding and persecution; when we see Him become the object of the hatred of His own fellow citizens, calumniated, doomed to death, betrayed by a friend, and tried and condemned as a malefactor, our souls are stirred: we realize that we cannot be His disciples unless we follow the same road. If Jesus, the Innocent One par excellence, bore so much for love of us, can we, sinners who are deserving to suffer, not endure something for love of Him? Whatever the total of suffering in our lives, it will always be very small, and even nothing, compared with the infinite sufferings of Jesus; for in His Passion Christ not only endured the suffering of one life or ofseveral human lives, but that of all mankind.

II. Whoever wishes to become patient, must, first of all, look at the motives for suffering in the profound light of faith. This superior illumination will make the soul understand that everything that happens in life is always permitted by God, and is solely for its good. It is true that very often suffering and hardships come to us through secondary causes; but that makes little difference when we realize that everything comes from our loving Father in Heaven, who uses these painful circumstances to help us to become more virtuous. If we wish to live only for God, we must never stop to consider the human causes of our sufferings, we must accept all from His hands, simply repeating: "Dominus est!" It is the Lord!

This acceptance does not prevent us from feeling, even deeply feeling, the weight of suffering—Jesus, also, felt it in His agony in the Garden of Olives—but it does help us to be undisturbed, to preserve peace and serenity, to maintain self-control and, consequently, to be patient.

In order to begin to practice patience, we must try to bear daily annoyances and sufferings resignedly, without complaint, knowing that divine Providence does not permit any trial that will not be a source of good for us. In the beginning, and even for a long time, we may experience a great repugnance for suffering. Nevertheless, if we try to accept it as we should, with constancy, peace, and submission to the divine will, we shall gradually be cognizant of the great spiritual prof it that flows from it; we shall feel more detached from creatures and from ourselves, and closer to God. Then shall we come to value suffering spontaneously; and later, having experienced its spiritual fruitfulness more completely, we shall finally come to love it.

But let us have no illusions: the love of suffering is the summit of patience; it is the fruit of patience brought to perfection. To reach this height, we must begin with a much humbler practice; that is, the peaceful and uncomplaining acceptance of everything that makes us suffer.


O Jesus, for love of You and with Your help, I wish to suffer in peace all the contradictions of my life. "Your thoughts are not our thoughts, Your ways are not our ways. You offer us a cup so bitter that our feeble nature cannot bear it. But I do not want to draw back my lips from the cup prepared by Your hand. You have taught me the secret of suffering in peace. Peace does not mean joy, at least not sensible joy; to suffer in peace, all I have to do is to will all that You will.

"To be Your spouse, I must be like You; and You are all covered with blood and crowned with thorns. You wish to make me like You; then, should I fear that I cannot carry the Cross without weakening? On the way to Calvary, You fell three times; and I, a poor little child, do I not wish to be like You? Should I not wish to fall a hundred times to prove to You my love, rising up again with more strength than before my fall?

"It is very consoling for me to remember that You, the God of might, knew our weaknesses, that You shuddered at the sight of the bitter cup which earlier You had so ardently desired to drink.

"O Jesus, what it costs to give You what You ask! But what happiness that it does cost! Far from complaining to You of the crosses You send me, I cannot fathom the infinite love which has moved You to treat me so. O Lord, do not let me waste the trial You send me, it is a gold mine I must exploit. I, a little grain of sand, want to set myself to the task, without joy, without courage, without strength, and all these conditions will make the enterprise easier; I want to work for love.

"In spite of this trial which robs me of all sense of enjoyment, I can still say: ‘ You have given me, O Lord, a delight in Your doings. ’ For is there any greater joy than to suffer for Your love, O my God? The more intense and the more hidden the suffering, the more do You value it. And even if, by an impossibility, You should not be aware of my affliction, I should still be happy to bear it, in the hope that by my tears I might prevent or atone for one sin against faith" (T.C.J. L, 63,51,184,59 - St, 9).

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The Value of Suffering

Monday after First Sunday of The Passion