Monday, January 26, 2009

Why suffering is so important for our sanctification

by Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira

Most souls only develop detachment and love of God through suffering.  Saint Francis de Sales expressed this well when he called suffering the “eighth sacrament.”

I was speaking one day with Cardinal Pedro Segura, Archbishop of Seville.  He recounted a conversation he had with Pope Pius XI.


Photo of Cardinal Segura.

The Holy Father was bragging that he had never been sick, when Cardinal Segura smiled and said: “Then Your Holiness is lacking the sign of the elect.”

The pope was startled and the cardinal continued: “All the predestined were sick or afflicted, and seriously so, for at least part of their lives.  If Your Holiness has never been sick, it is a bad sign.”

Some days later, Pius XI had a massive heart attack.  From his sick bed, the pope wrote a note to Cardinal Segura that read: “Your Eminence, now I have the sign of the elect.”

Truly, sickness and suffering of every order are signs of the elect.

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