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All men must suffer. It is up to us whether we benefit or be destroyed by it. St. John of the Cross states that sin is the ulcer of the soul; suffering removes the ulcer. St. Augustine reminds us that suffering is not a punishment; it is a remedy.

St. Bernard warns us that God is really angry if He does not send us any suffering. Thus the martyrs literally embraced suffering; St. Agapitus asked the tyrant to place the burning coals on his head believing it will be replaced with a crown in heaven.

Suffering, specially for others, is the touchstone of love. St. John Chrysostom describes the gift of suffering as superior to the gift of miracle; because the latter makes us debtors, the former makes God our debtor.

"Learn to suffer for the love of God," says St. Teresa of Avila, "and don't tell everybody." Salvian adds: "Men would go to hell if they enjoyed good health."



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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila


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