The Passion and Sickness

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.

As regards 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.

O God! what a grand lesson! Beg God to imprint it on your heart. Oh, what a subject for meditation!

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 your soul, it is well if you die under such a stroke: yours will be a death more precious than life.

The best way to acquire that peace which is born of the love of God, the inexhaustible Source of all virtues, is to accept all tribulations, whether spiritual or temporal, as coming directly from the paternal hand of God; to look upon all unpleasant events as very costly gifts presented to us by our heavenly Father; to repeat often the sacred word) of Our Saviour: "Yea Father, for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight." (Matthew 11:26)

From all eternity the Lord has judged it fitting, and willed it, that you should suffer those bodily ailments, those assaults of Satan, and those persecutions from men. Look upon them with the eye of faith, and adore the good pleasure of God by pious ejaculations.

Beholding with the eye of faith bitterness, persecutions, and sufferings of soul or body - beholding them, I say, with the eye of faith, as so many jewels sent us by divine love, they are no longer bitter, but become most sweet and pleasing.

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

- text taken from Flowers of the Passion, taken from the letters of Saint Paul of the Cross