Saturday, January 19, 2013

Spirituality: Trust During Suffering

In a letter to his friend Isabel Roser, Ignatius told her to trust that even through suffering, God teaches and guides us:

In your second letter you tell me of your long-drawn-out pain in the illness you have undergone and of the great stomach pains that still remain. Indeed I cannot help feel the liveliest sympathy with you in your sufferings, seeing that I desire every imaginable happiness and prosperity for you, provided it will help you to glorify God our Lord. And yet when we reflect, these infirmities and other temporal privations are often seen to be from God's hand to help us to a better self-knowledge and to rid ourselves of the love of created things. They help us moreover to focus our thoughts on the brevity of this life, so as to prepare for the other which has no end. When I think that in these afflictions He visits those whom He loves, I can feel no sadness or pain, because I realize that a servant of God, through an illness, turns out to be something of a doctor for the direction and the ordering of his life to God's glory and service.

(William J. Young, ed. and trans., Letters to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, p. 10)