“Don’t Waste Your Suffering”: 10 Saint Quotes to Encourage You Through Your Trials

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Even though suffering is not something we desire, it can purify our hearts of sin, unite us to Jesus, and can be offered for the salvation of souls.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive passion.” (1505)

As Saint John Paul II once said, “Don’t waste your suffering.”

Here’s 10 saint quotes that are sure to encourage you throughout times of struggle:

1) “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.”

St. Teresa of Calcutta

2) 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”.

Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul

3) “When I shrink from suffering, Jesus reproves me and tells me that He did not refuse to suffer. Then I say ‘Jesus, Your will and not mine’. At last I am convinced that only God can make me happy, and in Him I have placed all my hope…”

St. Gemma Galgani

4) “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’!”

St. Josemaria Escriva

5) A cross carried simply, and without those returns of self-love which exaggerate troubles, is no longer a cross. Peaceable suffering is no longer suffering. We complain of suffering! We should have much more reason to complain of not suffering, since nothing makes us more like Our Lord than carrying His Cross. Oh, what a beautiful union of the soul with Our Lord Jesus Christ by the love and the virtue of His Cross!”

St. John Vianney

6) “Trials and tribulations offer us a chance to make reparation for our past faults and sins. On such occasions the Lord comes to us like a physician to heal the wounds left by our sins. Tribulation is the divine medicine.”

St. Augustine of Hippo

7) “One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much, more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.”

St. Teresa of Avila

8) I do not know what will happen to me; I only know one thing for certain, that the Lord will never fall short of His promises. “Do not fear, I will make you suffer, but I will also give you the strength to suffer,” Jesus tells me continually. “I want your soul to be purified and tried by a daily hidden martyrdom”. . .”How many times,” Jesus said to me a little while ago, “would you have abandoned me, my son, if I had not crucified you.”

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

9) 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” 

St. John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris

10) 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!”

St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul 

[See also: C.S. Lewis’ Profound Answer to Why God Remains Silent, Even in Suffering]

[See also: Why Does God Let Us Suffer?]