Life without suffering is a waste of time. Every hour not united to God’s will is an hour squandered. Trials can take many forms, such as strict silence, distasteful duties, exhausting work, and very trying acts of obedience. Yet, every trial we evade represents time lost.
I call on you, my God, and on you, ever Virgin Mary, for you have never wasted your time. I call on you, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Thérèse of the Child Jesus, for you have never wasted the time given to you for your own sanctification and for God’s work of redemption.
Teach me to love. Teach me how to implement the beautiful motto, “Aut mori, aut pati.” Oh, to die, my God! But if you will that I still live, then grant me suffering, which becomes the source of happiness, as suffering baptized. Amen.
Servant of God Père Jacques de Jésus
The Cross: To baptize suffering and happiness
Retreat, Carmel of Pontoise, Conference 10
Friday evening, 10 September 1943
On 17 January 1985 the World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem in Israel recognized Père Jacques as Righteous Among the Nations. The Center’s website has a featured story dedicated to Père Jacques. This inspiring account includes a description of his heroic acts to shelter Jewish students at the Discalced Carmelite preparatory school in Avon, France, for which he was arrested. It also cites the testimony of witnesses to his arrest and provides links to read full accounts of the persons he rescued. Click here to read the Yad Vashem featured story, find the links, and see the photos from the Yad Vashem records.
Jacques, P 2005, Listen to the silence: a retreat with Père Jacques, translated from the French and edited by Murphy F, ICS Publications, Washington DC.