A Year with the Saints – 19 April


There are some sick persons who grieve and lament not so much for their own troubles, as for what they cause to those around them, and because they cannot occupy themselves in good works, and especially in prayer, as they did when they were well. In this they deceive themselves greatly, for as to the trouble given to others, whoever is truly patient wishes for all that God wishes, and in the manner and with the inconveniences that He wishes; as to works, one day of suffering borne with resignation is worth more than a month of great labors; and as to prayer, which is better: to remain upon the Cross with Christ, or to stay at the foot of it and contemplate His sufferings? Besides, to offer to the Lord His own weakness, to remember for whom it was suffered, and to conform ourselves to His holy will, is certainly a very excellent prayer. – Saint Francis de Sales

This Saint bore well not only the afflictions and trials which came to him, but also their consequences, such as the inconvenience which his illnesses caused those who waited on him or lived with him. And in all other things it was the same.

Father Alvarez saw, in a trance, the great glory which God had prepared for a nun who was tried by a most grievous illness, which she bore with all possible patience. He said that she had merited more in eight months of sickness than some healthy and devout persons in many years. Saint Aldegonda, having been forewarned of the day of her death, prayed the Lord to send her first some painful disease, that purified by it, she might fly the more lightly to Heaven. She was heard, for there came to her an acute fever with very sharp pain. In this state she rejoiced, considering the fever a refreshing coolness; the pain, consolation; and the sweats, a soothing bath by which she should be thoroughly purified for her flight to Heaven.

While Saint Francis was suffering very acute pain in his eyes, he gave thanks constantly to God, and prayed to Him for perseverance in His service. One day the Lord said to him: “Rejoice, Francis, for the treasure of eternal life is in store for you, and these pains are a pledge of it.” When Saint Vincent de Paul was seriously ill, he used to practice a method of prayer which was easily and pleasant, and at the same time profitable. It was to remain quietly in the presence of God, without forcibly applying his intellect to any considerations, only exciting his soul to frequent acts of resignation to the will of God, confidence, love, or thanksgiving.

MLA Citation