A Year with the Saints – 10 April


It ought to be considered a great misfortune, not only for individuals, but also for Houses and Congregations, to have everything in conformity with their wishes; to go on quietly, and to suffer nothing for the love of God. Yes, consider it certain that a person or a Congregation that does not suffer and is applauded by all the world is near a fall. – Saint Vincent de Paul

How fully Saint Vincent was persuaded of this truth, he showed by the manner in which he informed his disciples of a considerable loss which had befallen the house. “As I had been considering,” he said, “for a long time how happily the affairs of the Congregation were going on, and how well everything succeeded, I began to be much afraid of this calm, for I knew that God is accustomed to try His servants. But blessed be the Divine Goodness, which has designed to visit us with a very considerable loss.”

A holy old man who was very often sick was much grieved at passing a whole year without an illness, saying that God must have abandoned him, as He had ceased to visit him.

Saints Francis and Andrew Avellino entertained the same sentiments. They thought on any day when they suffered nothing for the love of God, that He had forgotten and abandoned them. One night when Father Avila was sick, his pain increased excessively after the candle went out and the attendants had gone to sleep. He was unwilling to awake them, but after a while, overcome by the sharpness of the pain, he prayed the Lord to be pleased to deliver him from such agony. He then fell asleep, and on awaking, found himself free from pain. Whereupon, he said to one of his disciples, “What a severe blow the Lord has dealt me this night!” By this he meant that in hearing his prayer, God had taken from him the occasion of suffering and of meriting.

MLA Citation