Rejoice in adversity even more than in prosperity, for suffering brings forgiveness of sin.
From the very beginning of a person’s life one learns that the purpose of life is not uninterrupted pleasure. Every infant suffers pains and illnesses. We should not perceive illness and pain as negative. Suffering teaches us humility. We learn that we do not have complete power over ourselves.
The chief secret of comfort lies in not suffering trifles to vex us, and in prudently cultivating an undergrowth of small pleasures, since very few great ones are let on long leases.
Once you are used to something, you feel some suffering if you lack it. Be very careful before making something a habit.
Envy destroys peace of mind and happiness. An envious person’s life is full of suffering and resentment. He is never happy with what he himself has.
With our finite minds we cannot presume to know if there is a Purpose. We sense, however, the presence of something greater than we can comprehend, a force as yet unknown to us - perhaps even to be unknown. So we accept our situation, learn from it, and do the best we can, resting on faith, despair, or cynicism, depending on the individual. Overriding all this must be an obligation - self-imposed or externally impressed - to do the best one can for others, to relieve suffering and to exercise compassion. We are all in this together, for life is a common, not an individual, endeavor.
Do what you are doing now, suffer what you are suffering now; to do all this with holiness, nothing need be changed but your hearts. Sanctity consists in willing what happens to us by God’s order.
Journey all over the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering the inconveniences of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst.
True compassion is utterly neutral and is moved by suffering of every sort, not tied to right and wrong, attachment and aversion.
True wisdom comes from the overcoming of suffering and sin. All true wisdom is therefore touched with sadness.
When you suffer yourself, it is easier to feel the suffering of others.
Everyone suffers. But many do not take it to heart that the suffering comes as a punishment for transgressions, rather they consider it accidental. The proper attitude is that suffering is an atonement. With this realization a person appreciates that suffering in this world saves him suffering in the next.
Through accepting suffering one can obtain much benefit. Suffering breaks a person’s arrogance and conceit. It leads him to humility and directs him to accept the sovereignty of the Almighty.
We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our love object or its love.
Of all the animals on earth, man has shown himself to be the most cruel and brutal. He is the only animal that will create instruments of death for his own destruction. Man is the only animal on all the earth that has ever been known to burn its young as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of some imaginary deity. He is the only one that will build homes, towns, and cities at such a cost in sacrifice and suffering and turn around and destroy them in war.
Habit has great power. We can become used to almost everything. We can become so used to a life of suffering that we are no longer aware that our suffering is not the way life should be lived. This tendency to lack a feeling of suffering is the biggest obstacle to becoming elevated through suffering. Since we do not feel the suffering, we do not pay attention to it and do not hear its message.. To overcome this, we must obtain an awareness that whenever things are not as they should be it is a message that we should improve ourselves in some area.
Suffering has the ability to weaken one’s desires. It can separate a person from cleaving to material matters. When one is in the midst of suffering, he can see it is possible for him to live without gratifying his desires, and without honor and approval. Little by little, he becomes free from those things he was previously bound to. His suffering can help him open his eyes to see his true self and internal wealth.
Suffering is meant to benefit not only the individual who is personally suffering. It is meant as a teacher to anyone who sees it or hears about it. The suffering of anyone in the world can serve as a tool we can use to learn lessons that will elevate us.
The purpose of suffering is to arouse a person to improve his ways and this is the greatest good for a person. This love of the Almighty manifest in suffering is not merely to save a person from retribution in the afterlife, but also to elevate a person and assist him in attaining more virtues.
Suffering is a great teacher. Suffering teaches you the limitations of your power; it reminds you of the frailty of your health, the instability of your possessions, and the inadequacy of your means which have only been lent to you and must be returned as soon as the Owner desires it. Suffering visits you and teaches you the nothingness of your false greatness. It teaches you modesty.