Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
Psalm 119:105 – 8, 111 – 12
Your word is a lantern to my feet : and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and am determined : to keep your righteous judgments.
I am deeply troubled : preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept, O Lord, the willing tribute of my lips : and teach me your judgments.
Your decrees are my inheritance for ever : truly, they are the joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes : for ever and to the end.
Francis of Assisi, a twelfth-century mendicant preacher, said, “Above all the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit, which Christ grants to His friends, is that of self-conquest and of willingly bearing sufferings, injuries and reproaches and discomforts for the love of Christ. If we shall bear all these things patiently and with cheerfulness, thinking on the suffering of Christ the blessed, which we ought to bear patiently for His love, O Brother Leo, write that here and in this is perfect joy.”