"do I suffer well?"

This morning we had mass at the house and the priest mentioned it was the feast of Therese of Lisieux. I remember reading her writings years ago. She died very young.

Here's a few lines by her about suffering and the spiritual life:

I have noticed that the experience of suffering makes us kind and indulgent toward others because it is suffering that draws us near to God.

Trials help us detach ourselves from the earth; they make us look higher than this world. Here below nothing can satisfy us.

Sanctity lies not in saying beautiful things, or even in thinking them, or feeling them; it lies in truly being willing to suffer. ...do I suffer well? That is the important thing.

It is so sweet to serve our Lord in the night of trial; we have only this life to practice the virtue of faith.

Suffering doesn't always produce good effects. But it does provide the stimulation and opportunity to recognize that "here below nothing can satisfy us," and to turn our eyes to God. Suffering also provides the darkest night in which we must "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5.1-7). And it is through this exercise of faith, this leaning on God in our most helpless moment, that we are drawn nearer to him. This is suffering "well."

And the nearer we are drawn to God, the source of all love, the more we have to offer to those around us.