382nd Meditation

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“Endure suffering with dignity and serenity. Thus it will become a great treasure which will serve to save mankind” (Inner Word).

Our Father is able to make all circumstances fruitful, making us participants and co-operators in His great work of love. Suffering was certainly not part of God’s original plan for man, so why would our Father create us and then make us suffer? We know that suffering came into the world as a consequence of man’s sin. But now it becomes a good occasion for us to show the Father our love.

All willingly come to the Lord’s banquet, but only few remain with Him at the hour of the cross, accepting suffering for His sake. Our Father will always give us the grace to do so, so that suffering undergoes an inner transformation. Even if it retains its outer darkness and remains something alien to man, as death also is, love is capable of transforming it from within. Just as Our Lord’s Passion did not remain shrouded in the darkness of crucifixion, but became the great proof of His love for us and for the Father, so we too can change our attitude to suffering with God’s grace.

That is why the opening words of this meditation exhort us to bear it with dignity and serenity: the dignity to make it fruitful through faith and thus participate in the Redemption of humanity; the serenity that comes from looking into eternity, seeing that the suffering we are going through is temporary and that an eternal reward awaits us.

The opening word speaks of suffering as a “great treasure”. Therefore, in the hours of suffering, in which the Lord certainly sustains us in a special way, let us remember the merchant who found a pearl of great value and sold all he had to buy it (Mt 13:45-46). In this sense, suffering can become for us a great treasure. Let us not miss the right moment to acquire this pearl.