Saturday, January 9, 2010

On the function, purpose, and nature of suffering, or pain

Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774 - 1824), German nun, stigmatic, and clairvoyant

"Michol, Ozias's daughter, had been paralyzed from her early years, and it was a special grace that she had for so long a time been unable to move. She had been chained down by sickness during the most perilous years of her childhood, years full of danger to innocence; and in consequence of the same, her parents had an opportunity for the exercise of charity and patience. Had she been well from infancy, what would perhaps have become of both her and her parents? Had the latter not sighed after Jesus, Michol never would have been so blessed. Had they not believed in Him, their daughter would never have been cured and anointed, which anointing had imparted wonderful strength and energy both to body and soul. Her sickness was a trial, a consequence of inherited sinfulness, but at the same time a loving discipline, a means of spiritual progress for Michol's soul, as well as for her parents. The patience and resignation of the parents resulted from their cooperation with grace. It brought to them the crown, the recompense of the struggle decreed for them by God, namely, the cure through Jesus of soul and body. What a grace! To be bound down by sufferings, and yet to have the spirit free for good until the Lord comes to deliver both body and soul!"
--from Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, vol. 3, pp. 157-58

"...they inquired how it could be that things could go so well with the bad while the good had to suffer so much. Jesus then explained to them that they who enjoy on Earth have to render an account hereafter, and that this life is one of penance."--p. 538

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