Great Principles of Suffering

Writing to Sr. Marie-Thérèse de Vioménil, Fr. de Caussade writes about the great principles of suffering:

I sympathize with you on the continuation of your cross, but I should do so much more if you were not able to profit by it, at least by making, as they say, a virtue of necessity.  Remember our great principles: (1) That there is nothing so small or apparently trifling, even the fall of a leaf, that is not ordained or permitted by God; (2) that God is sufficiently wise, good, powerful and merciful to turn the most seemingly disastrous events to the good and profit of those who are capable of adoring and humbly accepting all these manifestations of his divine and adorable will. 

As to the grave trouble of which you speak, hang it on your cross like an extra weight with which divine Providence permits you to burden yourself, and say two fiats instead of one. After this, remain in peace in the higher part of your soul whatever the storms and tempests devastating your lower nature. It is as if you were at the bottom of some great mountain where torrents of rain and hail are pouring down, while on the summit the weather is beautiful.  Remain on those heights so as to be protected from lightning and other disagreeable mishaps. -from Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence, pg. 123 (emphasis mine)

Submission is required despite our feelings and inclinations toward rebellion and distrust. God only requires our desire to submit to his holy will; he doesn’t require that we feel wonderful about it. However, distressing feelings should not deter our peace. It seems to be a paradox, but we must understand that peace is not a feeling; it is confidence in God’s mercy and knowledge that our lives are ordained by God alone.

Remembering the great principles of suffering noted above, we can find peace in the goodness and mercy of our Lord, knowing that when we are abandoned to him, he will not abandon us.

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