For those of you who are subscribers to Magnificat, the title of this post is familiar if you read the reflection by Elisabeth Leseur. I was very struck by this woman's writing when I read her diary some years ago.
In her reflection today, which if my memory serves me, is taken from her diary, she speaks about simplicity in suffering. That little phrase made me stop and think for a moment. All of us suffer in one way or another; we cannot escape it in this earthly exile we call life. Suffering though is a relative thing; some suffer more than others either in amount or degree. Sometimes the degree of suffering is in one's perception; what may seem like some small suffering to one person, may be a great hardship or trial to another.
Elisabeth asked for the grace of "simplicity in suffering"~ to be able to carry the cross of her suffering, especially those hidden ones, joyfully.
Some of the sufferings she mentioned, I found myself also having to bear. Things like the burden of material concerns, time wasted, relationships that hold no attraction, putting a smile on my face and being pleasant when I don't feel like it. She lists some spiritual burdens as well like dryness and aridity.
On the surface these things may not seem like tremendous sufferings, but to someone trying to live a holy life, as Elisabeth did, and as we are all called to do, they can be.
Her point (and mine) is that if we accept what we must endure in this life, bearing it joyfully, and knowing that it comes from God for our good and salvation and for His glory we will be given the grace of simplicity in suffering.
St Agnes, whose feast we celebrate today understood how to endure suffering simply. A young girl of only twelve suffered torture, humiliation and death with peace and joy in her heart and soul knowing that she would meet her Beloved Bridegroom at the end of it all.
Let us ask for St Agnes' intercession and pray with Elisabeth Leseur, whose cause for canonization is underway, for the grace of simplicity in suffering.
Elisabeth Leseur's Prayer
O my God, give me an adoring soul, an atoning soul, an apostle's soul, and do with me what You want according to my pact with You.
*My blogging friend Anne at Imprisoned In My Bones also has a wonderful post and review on Elisabeth Leseur and her diary.