“In one sense, what the Voice said to Francis is what he already knew, that beneath what appears on the surface is the priceless gold of what everything really is: God’s precious creation. And even greater than the created thing is its re-creation in eternity. Everything will be a new heaven and a new earth and it is struggling to be so even now. Humans who join in the sufferings, the birth-pangs, of all creation become transformed through their patience and long suffering and see at once that God’s future kingdom is already being realized in and with them. For everything suffers change, and only human beings who are able to see and understand can embrace that change willingly even when it involves darkness and suffering.”

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

**

“If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him. If you cry with Him, you will have joy with Him. If you die with Him on the cross of tribulation, you will possess the eternal dwelling place in the splendor of the saints. And your name, written in the book of life, will be glorious among men.”

— St. Clare of Assisi

**

“The soul, enlightened by faith, judges of things in a very different way to those who, having only the standard of the senses by which to measure them, ignore the inestimable treasure they contain . . . the soul that recognizes the will of God in every smallest event, and also in those that are most distressing and direful, receives all with an equal joy, pleasure and respect. It throws open all its doors to receive with honor what others fear and fly from with horror. The outward appearance may be mean and contemptible, but beneath this abject garb the heart discovers and honors the majesty of the king. The deeper the abasement of his entry in such a guise and in secret the more does the heart become filled with love.”

— Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade