Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Stay With It

 [In the midst of our present troubles I remembered some unconventional advice that Bernadette wrote me in a letter. I was complaining to her about some suffering I was going through at the time. She advised me that if my suffering wasn’t serving my relationship with God, I should do what I could to get rid of it. But she went on to say, if I can stay with it, go all the way to the bottom, to the very limit of my capacity for pain, I would see that there, it turns into God. So, she suggested, perhaps I should ask for it to be worse. (!) 
In hearing this story it is important to be aware of the difference between pain and suffering; pain is part of life and cannot be avoided. Suffering is what we add to the pain by resisting it - and complaining about it.]


  1. This is the kind of radical advice that is sorely missing in an age of sentimentalism. Advice to challenge us not make us feel better. Bernadette had as much compassion as anyone but she showed us how to be compassionate and tough-minded at the same time.

    1. Here, here. Absolutely right. Tough love is not sentiment.


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