Today [24 October 1915], ever since I got up, I feel very sad. It seems that suddenly my heart is breaking. Jesus told me that He wants me to suffer with joy. This costs me so, but it is sufficient that He asks this, so that I’ll try to do it.
Suffering pleases me for two reasons: first, because Jesus always preferred suffering, from His birth till His death on the cross. It must be something very great because He, the all-powerful One, seeks suffering in all things. Second, it pleases me because in the crucible of suffering souls are formed. And because Jesus sends this gift that was so pleasing to Him to the souls He loves most.
Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
Her intimate spiritual diary, 15 (excerpt)
Griffin, M D & Teresa of the Andes, S 2021, God, The Joy of My Life: A Biography of Saint Teresa of the Andes With the Saint’s Spiritual Diary, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
If I had been so beautiful in the world, I woul;d have found it so challenging to enter Carmel, and leave it! I totally get this passage. My whole life has been a “crucible” of suffering. Thankfully, I learned, many years ago, of the Catholic concept of redemptive suffering, and offering up my prayers, works, joys, sufferings and sacrifices, daily, for intentions, including those of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. That brings the “suffering with joy” she describes, even when emotionally miserable and physically challenged. Joy supersedes all that.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us!
Thank you! At your service, to coin a phrase… I just read it again and noticed properly, “Jesus sends this gift that was so pleasing to Him to the souls He loves most”. WOW. I can’t find the quote via Google search, so can’t give the source. But I have read somewhere, “If God wants to honour a [soul, I think?], He does not give it great things; He asks of it great things”. I have also read a comment somewhere, that suffering is so precious that the Son of God came down from Heaven to experience it, because there was none there… In any case, thank you for valuing my life. I live in social obscurity in the UK, without a glamorous job or caregiving role to make me value my life, and it’s so good that here, my experience means something worthwhile. I am just coming up to the last morning of an online retreat weekend from Boars’ Hill – my first Carmelite activity in life in the years since my old Council’s discernment, ending my Aspirancy. I can’t even begin to tell you how fantastic it is to be back in the folds of Carmel, even for a weekend! But you can probably appreciate that…