CREATIVE SUFFERING

There are people who constantly worry over whether they will have the courage to face this or that deprivation-old age, a painful illness, infirmity, or the death of husband or wife. I have always tried to reassure them, for as long as the trial they fear is not there, the courage cannot be there either. And they are probably the ones who will bear it most courageously if it does come. Over and over again I have marveled at the resources of courage these worrying people reveal themselves to have when they have to face the real thing and not the phantom of their imagination!

There is more to be said. There is that extraordinary joy which radiates from many a sufferer from serious infirmity, and which contrasts astonishingly with the moroseness of so many of the healthy people one sees on the bus. What is the explanation? Well, I think that it is because their lives demand permanent courage, a constant expenditure of courage; and since courage belongs to the spiritual economy, the more one ...

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