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Top 10 Saint Quotes on Redemptive Suffering for Comfort During Tough Times

Tough times got you down? I thought I would put together some Saint Quotes on redemptive suffering for these tough days of pandemic, political acrimony and strife. 

As Pope St. John Paul II said, "don't waste your suffering!" Read the full story on this quote below ...

I hate wasting anything. My family well knows that all food scraps are saved for the chickens, and the chickens turn our scraps into eggs. So please, don't let your sufferings go to waste! They are the building blocks that will restore the Church and, from her, the entire world.       

Hopefully, these Saint Quotes will help turn our eyes towards heaven. 

Also, my wife and I have been concerned about people's prayer lives during these difficult times. That's why we published the following Catholic Prayer Journal for Women suffering from stress, fear, and anxiety:

The title comes from Padre Pio’s famous quote, but it was another holy person that inspired this book. It was Chiara Corbello Petrillo, surely one of the Church’s upcoming saints, who gave us the idea to create this prayer journal.

We made versions specifically for Catholic Moms and Catholic Homeschooling Moms:

Here is also a new version of the autobiography St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of a Soul. It includes a workbook and study guide for prayer and study groups, as well as lots of photographs of St. Thérèse.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux on Redemptive Suffering 

St. Thérèse of Lisieux wrote, "Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love."[1]

St. Thérèse of Lisieux wrote the following about her own redemptive suffering from her deathbed:[2]

O Mother, it’s very easy to write beautiful things about suffering, but writing is nothing, nothing! One must suffer in order to know! I really feel now that what I’ve said and written is true about everything ... It’s true that I wanted to suffer much for God’s sake, and it’s true that I still desire this ... All I wrote about my desires for suffering. Oh! it’s true just the same! And I am not sorry for delivering myself up to Love. Oh! no, I’m not sorry; on the contrary!

St. Thérèse of the Little Flower! Here she speaks of suffering as thorns among her flowers. Only the Little Flower could speak so sweetly of suffering:
I want to suffer and even rejoice for love, for this is my way of scattering flowers. Never a flower shall I find but its petals shall be scattered for you; and all the while I will sing; yes, always sing, even when gathering roses in the midst of thorns; and the longer and sharper the thorns may be, the sweeter shall be my song!

We're just getting started ...

(Mother) St. Térèsa of Calcutta on Redemptive Suffering 

Mother Teresa described redemptive suffering in such sweet, simple terms. Redemptive suffering is the kiss of Christ:

“Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”

Here is also St. Teresa's description of redemptive suffering as the "paradox of love":
I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.

Saint Pio (Padre Pio) of Pietrelcina on Redemptive Suffering 

St. Pio knew suffering in life better than most anyone, save Christ Himself, for Pio bore the wounds of Christ. 

Here St. Pio describes redemptive suffering in terms of sacrifice:
Love Jesus, love Him very much, but to do this, be ready to love sacrifice more.

And another great quote from St. Pio. There are so many more!

Here Padre Pio speaks about the sign of redemptive suffering, the Cross:
The Christian's motto is the Cross. You will recognize God's love by this sign, by the sufferings He sends you.

There's still so many great quotes:

St. Maria Faustina Kowalska on Redemptive Suffering 

Saint Faustina described redemptive suffering in her diary. Union with Christ in suffering is a great start, but there is a sweeter fragrance still:[3]

And the Lord said to me, “My child, you please Me most by suffering. In your physical as well as your mental sufferings, My daughter, do not seek sympathy from creatures. I want the fragrance of your suffering to be pure and unadulterated. I want you to detach yourself, not only from creatures, but also from yourself … The more you will come to love suffering, My daughter, the purer your love for Me will be.”

This is an interesting note. Suffering purifies our love for Christ. Also, our suffering may also be purified. Seeking sympathy and consolation muddies our suffering, for Christ was denied these balms. 

St. Josemaria Escriva on Redemptive Suffering 

Here St. Escriva describes redemptive suffering as the "apostolate of suffering":

Those who pray and suffer, leaving action for others, will not shine here on earth; but what a radiant crown they will wear in the kingdom of life! Blessed be the "apostolate of suffering"!

Saint Josemaria Escriva is a saint of so many good quotes! I often wonder what it would have been like to be around this man who seemed to drip with great quotes. 

Pope St. John Paul II on Redemptive Suffering 

JP2 was actually the first one I quoted: "Don't waste your suffering!" It doesn't get much better and succinct than that. 

Here's the full story from Carpe Verbum:

Whenever I think of suffering, I’m reminded of a story I heard from a priest years ago. He traveled with a group of priests on a pilgrimage to Rome where they had a chance to meet Pope John Paul II. They knew they’d only have a short meeting with him and wondered at the words of wisdom he would tell them. One of the priests hurt his leg and had to do most of the pilgrimage limping, with a cast on his foot and crutches. After their journey and finally at the moment when they’d meet the Pope they approached him one at a time. When the injured priest had his turn, JP2 saw his leg, pulled him in close and whispered in his ear, “Don’t waste your suffering!” And with that, the visit was done.

Here Pope St. John Paul II describes redemptive suffering as a "share in glory":[4]

To the prospect of the Kingdom of God is linked hope in that glory which has its beginning in the Cross of Christ. The Resurrection revealed this glory — eschatological glory. … Those who share in the sufferings of Christ are also called, through their own sufferings, to share in glory.

This is by no means all JP2 had to say on the subject. Here is also the book I published on St. John Paul the Great and the Rosary:

Redemptive Suffering Footnotes:

[2] The Last Conversations and Confidences of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Neumann Press, pp. 133-134. ISBN 0-911845-72-0. 
[3] Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul
[4] St. John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris

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