Chapter 5:
Maxims of Patience

Maxim 5:1
Live with the saints close to the cross,
and die to pleasure.
At the same time you will live for God
and die entirely to yourself.

Maxim 5:2
Sufferings accepted well
are like the wood
which serves to kindle the fire of love.
To the extent that you endure faithfully
and make good use of your crosses, you will see
the sacred fire of love grow in your heart.
Souls who have this great love
are usually led through great sufferings.
Grasp this truth and profit from it.
A great fire cannot keep burning unless someone continues to throw wood on it.
Likewise, to sustain a great love of God throughout life
it is necessary to endure great sufferings.

Maxim 5:3
Jesus Christ
has ennobled and divinized suffering
in his own person.
Since his death, human suffering,
ennobled and divinized by him,
ennobles and divinizes
those who make good use of it.

Maxim 5: 4
The real proof of love
is to endure much for those one loves.
Endure much for God
and you will show clearly that you love God very much.
If you are unwilling to suffer anything
for God, it is a sign
that you do not love God.

Maxim 5:5
Love sufferings that are pure,
that is sufferings that contain nothing but suffering
and are devoid of all interior or exterior consolation.
These are most like the cross of Jesus Christ,
Especially like the sufferings of his passion.

Maxim 5:6
If it happens that you are abandoned by others
and even by God,
through the withdrawal of sensible grace,
remember the abandonment of Jesus on the cross
and willingly embrace your cross
in consideration of his.

Maxim 5:7
To suffer as you ought,
desire to do so with the holy attitudes and patience
of the Saviour Jesus.
To suffer in this way constitutes the perfection
of Christian patience:
  • without complaining, finding fault or letting your suffering be seen;
  • without asking for relief except when it is necessary and so as not to displease God;
  • without letting yourself be overcome by interior sadness or exterior worry;
  • without growing weary of suffering, and with the desire to suffer more if such is God's good pleasure;
  • with thanksgiving, joy and contentment, and with the realization that whatever you may endure is nothing compared to the pain you have merited by your sins, and with what Jesus endured for you.

Maxim 5:8
When you are overwhelmed by great afflictions,
keep your heart from longing for death
even though you may think you desire it
only if it is God's will.
Let it be enough for you to be crucified with Jesus
as much as and in the way it please God,
and to die on your cross at the hour in which Providence
will have accomplished in you,
for you, and through you,
all that it was destined to do,
both in the course of your life
and in the time and manner of your death.
That will be when, by a happy "Consummatum est",
pronounced in imitation of the Saviour Jesus
and if possible in his spirit,
you will joyfully return your soul
into the hands of your heavenly Father.
You will then go to possess God's glory and to enjoy
an eternal reward in heaven, in proportion to
the nature, merit, and number of your works.
In addition to accepting the crosses that come to you,
seek others voluntarily by the practice of mortification.
This must be prudent with regard to mortification of the body, but it can never be too great when it has to do with
mortification of the passions, of inordinate affections,
and of other inclinations of nature
which need to be constantly mortified
if you are to be able to live the life of the spirit.