St Paul of the Cross on sickness & suffering


Taken from the book "Flowers of the Passion -Thoughts of St Paul of the Cross" gathered from the letters of the Saint, published in 1893 and availible for free viewing on Google Books here.

In his letters, St Paul of the Cross writes:

"One day the Lord caused me to hear these words at the foot of the tabernacle:
'My son, he who embraces Me embraces thorns.'
-Oh, what a grace! Oh, what a gift!"
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"Meditation on Jesus Christ crucified is a precious balm which sweetens all our pains."
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"What an honor God confers on us, when He calls us to travel the same road as His divine Son!"
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"Be thankful for your precious trials, both interior and exterior; it is thus that the garden of Jesus is adorned with flowers, that is, with acts of virtue!"
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"The more deeply the cross penetrates, the better; the more deprived of consolation that your suffering is, the purer it will be; the more creatures oppose us, the more closely shall we be united to God."
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"Believe me, afflictions, fears, desolations, dryness, abandonment, temptations, and other persecutions make an excellent broom, which sweeps from your soul all the dust of hidden imperfections."
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"Have you ever noticed rocks in the sea, beaten by the tempest? A furious wave dashes against the rock, another and yet another does likewise, yet the rock is unmoved. But look at it after the storm has subsided, and you will see that the flood has but served to wash and purify it of the defilement it had contracted during the calm.
From now on I wish you to be as a rock. A wave dashes against you? Silence! It assails you ten, a hundred, a thousand times? Silence! Say, at most, in the midst of the storm, "My Father,
my Father, I am all Thine! 0 dear, o sweet will of God, I adore Thee !"

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"The statue must be chiselled with very sharp tools before it is fit to be placed in' the grand gallery."
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"The holy gospel tells us that unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains but a grain of wheat, and does not bear fruit. But the poor grain by being sown, how much must it not suffer to die and fructify! It must endure rain, snow, wind, and sun. The soul is a seed that God sows in the field of holy Church; to fructify, it must die by dint of pain, contradiction, and persecution."
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"I wish that all men could understand the great favor that God grants them when, in His goodness, He sends them suffering, and especially suffering devoid of all consolation; for then the soul, like gold which is purified in the fiery crucible, is cleansed, made beautiful, detached from earthly things, and united to the Sovereign Good, without even being conscious of it."
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"Remember that true holiness is accompanied by pains and tribulations from within and without, by attacks of visible and invisible enemies, by trials of body and mind, by desolations and prolonged dryness; "and all that will live in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12) -that is to say, all sorts of trials from demons, from men, and from our rebellious flesh."
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"Sickness is a great grace of God; it teaches us what we are; in it we recognize the patient, humble, and mortified man. When sickness weakens and mortifies the body, the soul is better disposed to raise herself up to God."
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"Regarding your bodily health, obey the orders of the physician. Tell him sincerely what you suffer, in modest, clear, and concise language; after having said all that is necessary, be silent and let him act. Do not refuse remedies, but take them in the loving chalice of Jesus, with a pleasant countenance. Be grateful to the person who nurses you; take whatever she offers you. In brief, act as a child in the arms of its mother. Remain in your bed as on the cross. Jesus prayed for three hours on the cross, and His was a truly crucified prayer, with no comfort from within or without.
Oh God! what a grand lesson! Beg God to imprint it on your heart. Oh, what a subject for meditation!"
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"There could not be a surer sign of God's love for you than this pain which He has sent you. Adore the divine will. You were in good health when you were in the world, but you were not then as dear to God as you are now. He loves you as a daughter, as a cherished spouse: this is why He treats you so generously.
Long illnesses are the greatest favors that God confers on souls whom He loves most. . . . Repose peacefully in the arms of your heavenly Spouse, Who loves you much; hold yourself on the cross of sickness as tranquilly and silently as is possible. If the cause of your illness be the wound of divine love which embalms yO,ur soul, it is well if you die under such a stroke: yours will be a death more precious than life."
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"In your pains and trials say: 'May Thy holy will be done, Oh my God! I welcome thee, afflictions! Beloved sufferings, I press you to my heart! Ah! dear hand of my God, I bless Thee! Blessed be the holy rod that strikes me with so much love! Oh, tender Father, it is good for me to be humbled!'

"Sickness is a good discipline and a rough hair-cloth. Oh, how pleasing to God are the disciplines which He sends us!" -St Paul of the Cross

2 comments:

Rita Kay said...

Excellent words to suffering souls and to those who care for them.

julie sakal said...

St Paul of the cross, Can you ask Jesus to give me and my family relief after so much suffering and bring our Paul back to life on earth in body,spirit and soul to the masterpiece God has created for us, and cure our son Paul from physical and emotional anxiety,
Lord forgive our sins and come with your mercy,give us our family back, so that we can serve you,love you,honor you and proclaim your Word.

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