Why God Troubles Us

Padre Quadrupani now discusses the disconcerting reality that God, Who we believe loves us more than we can imagine, nonetheless allows trials and tribulations to befall us.

First, the Padre states what seems like an impossibility: “Not only is it God who sends or permits our troubles, but He does so for the good of our souls and for our spiritual progress.” And he adds:”Do not, then, make a matter of complaint that which should be a motive for gratitude.”

To explain, Quadrupani turns to his favorite spiritual guide: “St. Francis de Sales says that the happiness of those who have reached their destination consists in the possession of God: to suffer for the love of Him is the only true happiness which those still on the way can expect to attain. Our Lord declared that those who mourn during this exile are blessed, for they shall be consoled eternally in their celestial fatherland.”

Quadrupani adds: “Notice that I say, to suffer for the love of God, for, as Saint Augustine remarks, no person can love suffering in itself. That is contrary to nature, and moreover, there would no longer be any suffering if we could accept it with natural relish.”

“But a resigned soul loves to suffer, that is, she loves the virtue of patience and ardently desires the merits that result from the practice of it. A calm and submissive longing to be delivered from our cross if such be the will of God is not inconsistent with the most perfect resignation. This desire is a natural instinct which supernatural grace regulates, moderates, and teaches us to control, but which it never entirely destroys.”

“Our divine Saviour Himself, to show that He was truly man, was pleased to feel it as we do, and prayed that the chalice of His Passion might be spared Him. Hence you are not required to be stolidly indifferent or to arm yourself with the stern insensibility of the Stoics; that would not be either resignation, or humility, or any virtue whatsoever. The essential thing is to suffer with Christian patience and generous resignation everything that is naturally displeasing to us. This is what both reason and faith prescribe.”

Quotations from Carlo Giuseppe Quadrupani, Light and Peace: Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts and Allay Their Fears (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1898).

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