A second evil, one which is specially
pernicious, ... is to be found in repugnance to suffering and eagerness to escape
whatever is hard or painful to endure. The greater number are thus robbed of
that peace and freedom of mind which remains the reward of those who do what
is right undismayed by the perils or troubles to be met with in doing so.
Rather do they dream of a chimeric civilization in which all that is
unpleasant shall be removed, and all that is pleasant shall be supplied. By
this passionate and unbridled desire of living a life of pleasure, the minds
of men are weakened, and if they do not entirely succumb, they become
demoralized and miserably cower and sink under the hardships of the battle of
In such a contest example is everything,
and a powerful means of renewing our courage will undoubtedly be found in the
Holy Rosary, if from our earliest years our minds have been trained to dwell
upon the sorrowful mysteries of Our Lord's life, and to drink in their meaning
by sweet and silent meditation. In them we shall learn how Christ, "the
Author and Finisher of Our faith," began "to do and teach," in
order that we might see written in His example all the lessons that He Himself
had taught us for the bearing of our burden of labour and sorrow, and mark how
the sufferings which were hardest to bear were those which He embraced with
the greatest measure of generosity and good will.
We behold Him overwhelmed
with sadness, so that drops of blood ooze like sweat from His veins. We see
Him bound like a malefactor, subjected to the judgment of the unrighteous,
laden with insults, covered with shame, assailed with false accusations, torn
with scourges, crowned with thorns, nailed to the cross, accounted unworthy to
live, and condemned by the voice of the multitude as deserving of death.
too, we contemplate the grief of the most Holy Mother, whose soul was not
merely wounded but "pierced" by the sword of sorrow, so that she
might be named and become in truth "the Mother of Sorrows."
Witnessing these examples of fortitude, not with sight but by faith, who is
there who will not feel his heart grow warm with the desire of imitating them?
Then, be it that the "earth is
accursed" and brings forth "thistles and thorns,"- be it that
the soul is saddened with grief and the body with sickness; even so, there
will be no evil which the envy of man or the rage of devils can invent, nor
calamity which can fall upon the individual or the community, over which we
shall not triumph by the patience of suffering...
But by this patience, We do not
mean that empty stoicism in the enduring of pain which was the ideal of some
of the philosophers of old, but rather do We mean that patience which is
learned from the example of Him, who "having joy set before Him, endured
the cross, despising the shame" (Heb. xvi., 2). It is the patience
which is obtained by the help of His grace; which shirks not a trial because
it is painful, but which accepts it and esteems it as a gain, however hard it
may be to undergo.
The Catholic Church has always had, and happily still has,
multitudes of men and women, in every rank and condition of life, who are
glorious disciples of this teaching, and who, following faithfully in the path
of Christ, suffer injury and hardship for the cause of virtue and religion.
They re-echo, not with their lips, but with their life, the words of St.
Thomas: "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John xi.,
May such types of admirable constancy be
more and more splendidly multiplied in our midst to the weal of society and to
the glory and edification of the Church of God!