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Daily Thoughts  

Suffering
by Heinrich Suso

Before the world, suffering is a reproach, but before Me it is an infinite honor. Suffering is an extinguisher of My wrath, and an obtainer of My favor. Suffering makes a man in My sight worthy of love, for the sufferer is like Me. Suffering is a hidden treasure which no one can make good…. Suffering changes an earthly man into a heavenly man. Suffering brings with it the estrangement of the world, but confers, instead, My intimate familiarity. It lessens delight and increases grace…. He who rightly knows how profitable suffering is, ought to receive it as a gift worthy of God. Oh, how many a man there is who once was a child of eternal death, and plunged in the profoundest sleep, whom suffering has wakened up and encouraged to a good life…. Suffering is a safeguard against grievous falls; it makes a man know himself, rely on himself, and have faith in his neighbor. Suffering keeps the soul humble and teaches patience. It is the guardian of purity, and confers the crown of eternal salvation. There is probably no man living but who derives good from suffering, whether he be in a state of sin, or on the eve of conversion, or in the fruition of grace, or on the summit of perfection; for it purges the soul as fire purges iron and purifies gold; it adorns the wrought jewel. Suffering takes away sin, lessens the fire of purgatory, expels temptation, consumes imperfections, and renovates the spirit. It imparts true confidence, a clear conscience, and constant loftiness of mind. Know that it is a healthy beverage, and a wholesome herb above all the herbs of paradise. It chastises the body which, at any rate, must rot away, but it nourishes the noble soul which shall endure for ever. Behold, the noble soul blooms by suffering even as the beautiful rose by the fresh dews of May! Suffering makes a wise mind and an experienced man. A man who has not suffered what does he know? Suffering is affection's rod, a paternal blow given to My elect. Suffering draws and forces men to God, whether they like it or not. He who is always cheerful in suffering, has for his servants joy and sorrow, friend and foe."

Heinrich (Henry) Suso (c.1295-1366; German mystic, religious leader of the Friends of God society)