Misfortunes Turned to Blessings

Never believe you have attained such purity as you should, whilst your will is not freely and gladly submissive to the holy will of God, as to all, and in all, even in things the most repugnant. -St. Francis de Sales

St. Jane Frances de Chantal said that he arrived at such purity, as she knew from himself, for in his deepest afflictions he experienced a sweetness a hundred times greater than usual. This came from the intimate union with God that he enjoyed, which made the bitterest things most delicious to him.

The Congregation of St. Vincent de Paul having met with a serious loss of property, he informed a friend of it in this way: “As you are one of our best friends, I cannot do less than let you know of the loss we have met with — not, indeed, as a misfortune that has befallen us, but as a favor which the Lord has bestowed on us, and in the intention that you may help us to render Him due thanks.”

We read of the wife of a soldier, who used to say, when a misfortune happened to any one, “It will be the best thing for him.” She made the same remark on the occasion of her husband’s losing an eye. Some time after, it happened that the king was near death, and, according to the custom of the country, some one was chosen to honor his death by dying with him. It happened that this soldier was chosen, but when he was informed of his ill-fortune, he immediately said: “But no! it is not proper that so great a king should have a one-eyed man for his companion in death!” This was approved by all, so that the loss of an eye was no evil, but a great piece of good fortune.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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