(Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth Letters)
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character
produces hope, and hope does not disappoint
us, because God's love has been poured into
our hearts through the Holy Spirit which
has been given to us." (1)
The untrained heart will flee from pain:
Its instincts of pleasure and fear,
Abhor suffering with disdain --
Wailing with grief when clouds draw
The tempered heart, steadied and still,
Absorbs the pain with forbearing;
Love's response is an act of will
Which does not shirk at suffering.
As butter yields beneath the knife
Or rock withstands the chisel's blow,
The heart's response to pain is rife
With purpose or fatalist woe.
His purpose uses even pain,
To draw us to Himself in love;
As plants beaten with heavy rain,
Hearts that drink deep will rise above.
Take heart and hope in suffering;
His love absorbs our offering.
May the Divine Physician provide hope and
courage for our hearts as we surrender ourselves
with confidence and trust to His loving care.
1. Romans 5: 3-5
(c) Paul Buis, 2004