This year, with my trials and tribulations, the theme of suffering has brought me some solace. I just want to share a few quotes from Élisabeth Leseur.
God, I offer you my spiritual aridity and deprivations. I offer you the interior sadness, the injuries, the disappointments of my heart, so much anxiety for the spiritual well-being and the health of those precious to me, and all the many sufferings of life. I offer you darkness of spirit, weakness of will, interior sorrow, and burdens. I offer you my physical distress, this illness that has sadly limited my external life, the discomforts and exhaustion that my troubles bring right now. I bind these things into a sheaf, Lord, and come humbly with the shepherds to lay it in the manger.
Little Child, all love, all purity, all tenderness, give me purity of heart, tenderness, and charity. Accept my afflictions and use them for the good of others and for your glory. May your blessed hands help me to carry [my burdens], and may your love and the union of our hearts relieve my isolation. May it end one day, when, by your grace, you will convert and make holy those dear persons whom I beg you to make Christians and apostles, O Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God.
A few more quotes from Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur:
“Look around oneself for proud sufferers in need,” Élisabeth counseled, “find them, and give them the alms of our heart, of our time, and of our tender respect.”
“Suffering is the highest form of action, the highest expression of the wonderful Communion of Saints, and that in suffering one is sure not to make mistakes (as in action, sometimes) — sure to be useful to others and to the great causes that one longs to serve.”
And here is an entry from her diary dated, May 3, 1904, which is typical of her experience of sorrow:
"Has my life known any unhappier time than this?…And yet through all these trials and in spite of the lack of interior joy, there is a deep place that all these waves of sorrow cannot touch….[T]here I can feel how completely one with God I am, and I regain strength and serenity in the heart of Christ. My God, give health and happiness to those I love and give us all true light and charity."
Sometimes the best place to be is in silence and Élisabeth sums it up this way:
“Silence is sometimes an act of energy, and smiling, too.”
Dear Lord, please kindle in my heart the indelible mark of suffering shared by all in the Communion of Saints and help me find union with Your Heart full of tenderness and charity.