Tuesday, 1 March 2011


"What mortal has ever looked at suffering, with its severe and sombre countenance, or squared up to it, without soon blessing it as a sweet gift from heaven? Just as the hardest metals soften and melt under the effect of fire, so it is that suffering transforms noble souls. It arouses in them a virtue that moves, restores, supernaturalizes, and soothes them.

Take, for instance, the poor man who has long suffered indigence and unhappiness. If he attains wealth, he will use it with wisdom and moderation. He has learned through hard experience how much it costs to be poor, to eat a seldom-found load of bread, and to live on earth wandering, sick, and ignored.

Look at the statesman, the mighty and respected prince. If, before being raised to the throne, he has endured the anguish and bitterness of exile, if he has drunk to the full the cup of ingratitude and opprobrious conduct, he will not let himself be dazzled as much as another man by the grandeur and glitter of his sovereignty. He will willingly cast a respectful and compassionate eye upon an obscure subject fallen into disgrace. He knows that nobility of thought and loftiness of soul can lie hidden under rags no less than under the dignity of kinship; he calls to mind that he, too, has long lived in banishment, a fugitive unknown and defamed.

Or look at the priest: when, by the melancholy of his eyes, the premature deterioration of his features, and the smile of resignation on his lips, people conclude that suffering has often visited his soul, he is held in greater respect and affection. Those who are forsaken will learn their grief-stricken souls more trustingly upon his, in the belief that remedy and consolation are bound to flow from his soul in a more paternal and merciful manner.

Lastly, is this man, tried by long and bloody misfortunes, an obscure, forsaken creature? Far from despising him, we see in his pain a glorious purification of his life. A secret feeling tells us that such a man is a privileged being, carefully prepared by the divine hand for a destiny more glorious than that of time. In him we admire a nobility more splendid than that of blood, the nobility of suffering unflinchingly borne."

By an ancient philosopher


Carnival said...

Did you write this cuz it's incredibly deep?

JI said...

No Carnival. I didn't write it. It was an ancient unkown philosopher. I've indicated that now in my post. I came across it in a book I'm reading at the moment and thought it sounded great. Suffering has a way of perfecting our deviant ways and making us more Christ like, providing we accept it in such a spirit. That's what many of the saints did. Ultimately our goal should be to model ourselves on Christ.

Best wishes,

Toyin O. said...

What a great philosophy;the bible says the suffering of our present moment is nothing comapared to the glory to be revealed:)