You may make the most complete and absolute offering of yourself to God to bear every pain He may wish to send. Renew this frequently and place yourself in His hands as His willing victim to be immolated on the altar of sacrifice. But it is better not to ask directly for great sufferings; few of the saints did so.
COMMENT: Today’s quote from Fr Doyle may perhaps be difficult to understand for most of us. It certainly counts as one of his “hard sayings”. He was gentle with so many people, but the person with whom he is corresponding here is clearly one who was advanced in the spiritual life and felt a call to this type of asceticism. It is not something that we are all called to do.
One of the characteristics of a growth in sanctity is a complete abandonment to the will of God, and an acceptance of sufferings if these should be His will. At the very least, according to St Ignatius, we should be indifferent to sickness and health, poverty or riches, popularity or rejection…
Today is the feast of St Pacificus of San Severino, a Franciscan from the 17th/18th century. He was a renowned preacher who became lame and had to abandon his preaching apostolate. He then dedicated himself to the confessional, but eventually became deaf and had to abandon this work. He then, eventually, became blind. Lame, deaf and blind – what suffering. And yet he accepted his suffering, and through this he found sanctity.