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Joy in Suffering – 30 Days with Teresa of Avila – Reflections on Day 28, Part 1

Joy in Suffering
30 Days with Teresa of Avila
Part 1, Day 28 Reflections
Divine Intimacy Radio

In the midst of her own suffering, St. Teresa “lifts the eyes” of Doña Maria de Mendoza who is experiencing trials. St. Teresa consoles her friend by helping her to understand God’s role in her suffering. Dan and Melissa discuss joy in suffering, suffering, emotions, and acts of the will as they reflect on letters from St. Teresa in the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How to identify the saint who can best help you in your spiritual life.30DaysWithTeresaOfAvila
  • Can you actually feel joy in the midst of your trials?
  • Can you prepare yourself in advance for suffering?
  • What are some things that hinder our spiritual growth?
  • Can we recognize the value in our suffering?
  • Does joy in suffering require an act of the will, or is it a gift?
  • How does suffering aid in spiritual growth?
  • How do “victim souls” participate in Jesus suffering and salvation of the world?
  • Understanding that the suffering that God allows is for our salvation.


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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Jeanette

    From St. Faustina’s Diary: #303 (suffering brings joy)

    “. . . And the purer our love becomes, the less there will be within us for the flames of suffering to feed upon, and the suffering will cease to be a suffering for us; it will become a delight! By the grace of God, I have received such a disposition of heart that I am never so happy as when I suffer for Jesus, whom I love with every beat of my heart.”

    It’s all about Love!

  • Patricia

    Great ttalk. Thanks, Dan and Melissa.

  • Judy Silhan

    Listening to you and Melissa early this morning did not have the impact on me that it did when listening to it again this evening. Your discussion of suffering, coupled with a talk by Fr. Donald Calloway, which I listened to on my drive home, clearly opened my eyes to the fact there are not only many misconceptions regarding suffering among Catholics; but many people, Catholics included, want a life devoid of any inconvenience, let alone, suffering, and they certainly do not see it as a gift from the Lord.
    For me, I really appreciated your words on how you actually had joy and suffering simultaneously on one occasion; but other times, it took everything in you to control your emotions. That is where I have often found myself; and I am committing to memory your suggested prayer: “Lord, I believe. Please help my unbelief.” Your thoughts about He is in control; but I can’t handle it were very welcoming.
    Lastly, I see hope in getting, someday, to the welcoming of suffering that St. Therese of Lisieux endured and offered up during the last days of her earthly life. Learning about this in one of Dr. Lilles classes, and desiring this for myself, I did not understand why I could not embrace this idea fully and act upon it. With your discussion today, I realize that much more spiritual growth is needed on my part.
    Excellent, thought provoking program. Look forward to next weeks continuation of this discussion on suffering.

  • Charles Saliba

    Real genuine love for God would make a person withstands what only God Himself knows how, and what are the necessities for that particular soul to advance to where only God Himself desires.

    I read some verses from the commentary of the stanzas of “the living flame of love” by St. John of the Cross related to sufferring , and he made clear the necessity of suffering in order to reach transformation in God, which are in stanza 2 (21-36) and herunder I am only posting this very intersting paragraph:

    There are many who desire to advance and persistently beseech God to bring them to this state of perfection. Yet when God wills to conduct them through the initial trials and mortifications, as is necessary, they are unwilling to suffer them and they shun them, flee from the narrow road of life [Mt. 7:14] and seek the broad road of their own consolation, which is that of their own perdition [Mt. 7:13]; thus they do not allow God to begin to grant their petition. They are like useless containers, for although they desire to reach the state of the perfect they do not want to be guided by the path of trials that leads to it. They hardly even begin to walk along this road by submitting to what is least, that is, to ordinary sufferings.

    • LizEst

      Thank you for the that refresher on St. John of the Cross’ words on suffering. God bless you Charles.

    • Judy Silhan

      Thank you so much your inadvertent push to read further into St. John of the Cross. I have his works; but had not taken the time to read through all of them. This passage you quoted, and which I read, as well as a little more, made me stop and think of how quickly I sometimes react to those little trials or disruptions in my life with frustration, and sometimes, even anger, rather than accepting them with love and welcoming the purgation the Lord chooses to give or allow, in order to further my spiritual growth. Truly, much wisdom is to be found in writings of the saints.

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