Love Beareth all Things
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Chapter One 'Treated' the Virtue-of-Patience, in-General. This
Chapter 'Treats' it in-Particular; its Necessity
in Time-of Sickness,
in the Grip-of Poverty, and
in the Face-of Persecution.
Those who Truly Love Jesus Christ, 'Bear' all Things, especially in these Three (3)
Areas. And the Virtue which 'Sustains' them in their Efforts, is that of-Patience.
Patience in Sickness
"If we only knew what a Treasure, Sickness could Bring, we would Accept it with Joy, as the Greatest Possible
Blessing". Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, who 'Spoke' these Words, Suffered Terribly, Night and Day, but he
'Accepted' it with such Peace, that no one 'Guessed' anything
Bothered him. And, when Saint-Francis-de-Sales was Ill, he simply 'Explained' his
Symptoms to the Physician, 'Obeyed' him by following his Prescriptions exactly, and Remained-in Peace, never 'Voicing'
a single Complaint, about his Sufferings.
What a Contrast is this, to those who do Nothing but Complain-about even the smallest
Ailment, and who 'Expect' everyone to 'Sympathize' with them. How different was the Instruction, Saint Teresa gave to
her Companions: "Sisters, Learn to Suffer for the Love of Jesus Christ, without Broadcasting it, to the World".
Those who are Sick, sometimes Complain:
"It is not so much the Sickness itself, that Bothers me, as it is my own Inability to Attend Mass and Receive Communion. I cannot
Recite the Divine Office with my Community. I cannot Celebrate Mass. I cannot Pray, because my Head is Throbbing with Pain". But why do these
Persons want to-go-to the Church, or to the Chapel? Is it to-Please God? Don't they know that it is
God's Wish, that they Patiently 'Remain' in-Bed, and
Suffer their Illness at the Present Time? Are they
Upset on-'Hearing' this? Then, they are 'Seeking' not what is God's
Pleasure, but their own!
And as for those who say that they are Unable to-Pray, because their Head
Throbs, so be it. They cannot Meditate, but why can't they 'Resign' themselves to
the Will-of-God? They can 'Make' no-better Prayer, than to 'Embrace' with
Love, the Suffering that they must 'Endure'. They say they cannot
Pray, but what more Beautiful Prayer, than to 'Look' on the
Crucified Lord, and 'Offer' Him their
Pain, Uniting (1) the Little that they 'Endure',
with the Overwhelming Agony, that He 'Endured'-on the
Above all, in Time-of Sickness, we should Prepare-for Death. We
must be Ready-to 'Accept' the Kind-of Death, that God has 'Appointed'-for us.
Because-of Human Frailty, we cannot Live-in the World, without 'Committing'
at-least Venial Sins; this should 'Motivate' us to-'Embrace' Death
Willingly, that we may never Offend God
Patience in Poverty
Our Patience is certainly Tried, when we are in Need-of Temporal
Goods. Saint Augustine said: "One who has not God, has Nothing; One who has God, has All". The
Poor, are those who have Nothing; but those who have Nothing, and are Content-with their Poverty, are,
in fact, very Rich. Saint Paul referred-to such in 2Corinthians 6:10: "As Sorrowful, yet always Rejoicing; as Needy, yet Enriching
many; as having Nothing, and Possessing all things". The Saints not only 'Practiced' Patience in
Poverty, they also Tried-to-Become even Poorer, so that they could become
'Detached'-from everything, except God.
If we do not have enough Courage, to 'Turn' our Backs completely-on Temporal Goods, at least we should
be Satisfied-with the State-of-Life in-which God 'Places' us. Be convinced-of what Saint Teresa says:
"The less we have Here, the more we shall have There".
Our Lord Himself said: "Blessed are the Poor-in-Spirit: for theirs is the
Kingdom-of-Heaven" - Matthew 5:3. In the other Beatitudes, Joy in the Life-to-Come, is Promised-to the
Meek, and to the Clean-of-Heart. But to the
Poor, Joy is 'Promised' even in This-Life: "The Reign-of-God is
theirs". Yes, for even in This-Life, the Poor 'Experience' a Foretaste-of
The Poor-in-Spirit are not those who merely Lack Material
Goods, but those who do not-even 'Desire' them. "But having Food, and wherewith to be Covered, with these we are
Content" - 1Timothy 6:8.
We should be Content-with the Things God 'Gives' us, Rejoicing-in our
Poverty, when we Lack something we 'Desire', and 'Have' it not; for in-this, Lies our
Merit. "Not Poverty", says Saint Bernard, "but the Love
of Poverty, is considered a Virtue". Many are Poor, but because they never 'Learn'
to-Love their Poverty, they Merit Nothing.
This Love-of Poverty, should be a Special Characteristic-of
Religious, who have 'Made' a Vow-of-Poverty. Some say that they want-to be Poor,
but only on the Condition-that they Lack nothing. "It seems", says
Saint-Francis-de-Sales, "they want the Honor-of Poverty, but not the Inconvenience-of Poverty". Good Religious,
'Respond' differently; they Love their Poverty, more-than any Possible Riches.
The Loss-of Friends and Relatives by-Death, can also, to a Certain
Extent, be considered an Occasion-of Practicing Poverty. Some People, when they
Lose a Relative or Friend, find no-Rest. They Shut themselves up in a Room, to Weep and Surrender-to
their Sorrow, 'Causing' everyone around them, increased Distress. But for whose
Sake, do they 'Shed' these Tears? Is it for God? Certainly not!
God's Will is that they 'Practice' Resignation-to His Will. Is it for the
Departed Soul? By no means! Lost
Souls 'Hate' everyone; and Saved Souls, want everyone to 'Thank' God
for their Salvation. Souls in Purgatory need
Prayers, not Tears. Of what use, then, is all this
Weeping? What is Needed, above all, is Patience in Poverty.
Patience Under Persecution
We must also 'Practice' Patience, and 'Prove' our Love for
God, by 'Serenely Enduring' Persecution.
Once we 'Give' ourselves to Him, God 'Sends' us - on
His Own or through-Others - Insult and
Persecution. Saint Teresa 'Wrote' this very Wise Maxim: "One who Desires Holiness, must be Careful never to say:
'They have no-Reason to Treat me like that'. If you will not Bear any Cross that is not Reasonable, then Holiness is not for you".
In fact, Insults, Poverty, and any Form-of
Trial, only 'Draw' further-from God, those who do not Love Him.
But, when they 'Happen'-to those who Love God, they 'Draw' them closer-to
Him, and Increase the Ardor-of their Love. "Many Waters cannot Quench Love,
neither can the Floods, Drown it: if a Man should give all the Substance-of his House for Love, he shall Despise it as Nothing" - Songs 8:7.
But why does Almighty God 'Allow' us to be so Persecuted, by the
World? Is He some Sort-of Tyrant, who 'Rejoices' in our
Suffering? No! God is by no-means, a Tyrant;
He is Full-of Compassion and Love for us. It is enough to 'Say',
that He has Died for us. He 'Rejoices' in our
Patience, because it Adds-to our Glory
God's Holy Martyr's, in Adoration-of the Lamb -
From the Van Eyck Ghent-Altarpiece
(Click to enlarge)
If, then, we are to 'Practice' Patience, in all our Trials, we
must be completely 'Convinced', that every Cross 'Comes'-from the Hand-of-God,
either Directly or Indirectly. We must, therefore, 'Thank' God, whenever we are 'Beset' with
Sorrow, and we must 'Accept', in all Serenity, every-Event that Befalls us. "And
we know that to them that Love God, all things Work-together unto Good, to such as, according to His Purpose, are called to be Saints" -
Romans 8:28. But, above all, Prayer, by-which we 'Gain' the Help-of-God,
is the Great Means to-Suffer with-Patience, any
Trial we must 'Endure'. The Saints knew this, and so they 'Overcame' every Conceivable kind-of Torment
"O my God, make me a Saint"
Saint Alphonsus Mary Liguori
"Become not Slothful, but Followers-of them, who through Faith and Patience, shall Inherit the Promises" -
Hebrews 6:12. Lord, You are the Source-of my Patience in Suffering. I make so many Resolutions to-accept Difficulties in Peace; but as-soon-as they
Come, I become Moody and Afraid. If I do Suffer, I Suffer without Love, because I do not know how to-Embrace Your Will, in Suffering.
Jesus, through the Merits of Your Patience, in Suffering-for Love-of me, Grant me the Grace to Bear my Crosses,
out of Love for You.
Mary, my Queen, Teach me Resignation, as I Face the Trials-of-Life.