…Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” – Luke 2:34-35, WEB

I have often wondered why God allows His beloved children to suffer. Why not prevent their tears from ever falling? Their hearts from ever being hurt?

One day however, He helped me realize that it is only through suffering that true love may be found. During happy days, when all is well and we need not sacrifice anything, we may be fooled into believing that contentment is goodness, and that friendship is merely being kind to those who are not causing us any discomfort or trouble.

Almost everyone loved Jesus when He was healing the sick and preaching the Good News. But when He was sentenced to be crucified, almost everyone abandoned Him and few were found at the foot of the cross, staying with Him just when it was darkest and hope seemed bleakest.

Suffering unmasks the true thoughts of our hearts. It enables us to see who really loves us. Suffering reveals what goodness and evil had been there all along.

The people we thought to be our friends may not really be our allies. People who seem righteous may not really be merciful and kind.

We find our true friends when we suffer. They are the ones who are there not only in good times, but those who remain even in the worst of times.

Suffering is a great grace; through suffering the soul becomes like the Saviour; in suffering love becomes crystallised; the greater the suffering, the purer the love. – St. Faustina

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