Monday Wrap-up: 5/8/17

Here’s the wrap-up for our last meeting.

Main topic excerpt: VOLUNTARY TRIALS. THE TRUE HAIR SHIRT

You ask me if it is licit for a man to lessen his own probation? This is equal to other questions such as: is it licit for a drowning man to save himself? Should he take a thorn from his hand? Should he call a doctor when he is ill? The reason behind our trials is to help us to use our intelligence, patience and resignation. It may happen that a man is born into a difficult and painful situation precisely to make him look for the means of alleviating these problems. The merit is in suffering the consequences that cannot be avoided without complaining, in persevering with the fight and in not allowing oneself to become desperate when one is not successful. It is never to be found in negligence, which is more laziness than virtue.

This quite naturally leads to another question: if Jesus said ‘Blessed are the afflicted,’ can merit be gained by seeking afflictions which could aggravate our trials by means of voluntary suffering? To this we can reply very decidedly: yes, there is great merit in this, provided the suffering and privation are of benefit to others; this is charity through suffering. But not when the suffering and privations are of benefit to the inflictor; this would only be fanatical selfishness.. Read more…

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