A Year with the Saints – 3 April

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By working out our salvation through sufferings, the Son of God has wished to teach us that there is nothing in us so fitted to glorify God and to sanctify our souls as suffering. Yes, yes, to suffer for love of the Lord is the way of truth! Therefore, the more one can suffer, the more let him suffer, for he will be the most fortunate of all; and whoever does not resolve upon this, will never make much progress. Saint Teresa of Avila

detail of a statue of Saint Maria Magdalena of Pazzi; date and artist unknown; Estrela basilica, Lisbon, Portugal; photographed in April 2010 by Alvesgaspar, and a great job he did, too; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsSaint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi was so much enamored of suffering that she said: “I do not desire to die soon, because in Heaven there is nothing to suffer; but I desire to live a long time, because I wish to suffer long for love of my Spouse. Nor would I have a brief martyrdom only, but an accumulation of pains, calumnies, misfortunes, and all adversities that can possibly happen to me.” And when she went through a long and painful illness this not only failed to extinguish in her this great thirst for suffering, but after tasting it in such a way, she longed for it the more, so that while the Superior endeavored to lessen her hardships for the preservation of her health, she was at the same time seeking in every way to invent new kinds of sufferings that no one would perceive. It happened one day, in the course of her last illness, that having received a marked affront, she not only bore it patiently, but showed signs of particular friendship for the offender. When one of the Sisters manifested astonishment, she told her that she was glad she had not died before it occurred, that she might not lose such an excellent opportunity for suffering.

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