My child, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in a day of trouble” (Nahum 1:7). Come to me whenever you need help. The greatest hindrance to receiving consolation is your apparent reluctance to pray. Before you ask me for anything earnestly, you try to find other consolations, delighting yourself in so many external things. When it happens that nothing helps you out, you remember that I am the One who saves those who trust in me. Other than me you will find no power, nor profitable advice, nor lasting remedy.
Now that you have survived the storm and recovered your spirit, try to grow strong again in the light of my tender mercy. I am here to lend a healing hand, to offer abundant, overflowing help beyond measure.
Is anything difficult to me? Shall I be like one who promises and does not perform? Where is your faith? Stand firm and persevere. Be patient and have courage; consolation will come to you in due time.
Wait patiently for me and I will come and cure you. It is temptation that bothers you and a useless fear that strikes you with terror. What do you get from worry about what may come in the future, except a multitude of sorrows? “Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mt 6:34). It is vain and useless to feel grief or joy for future events that may never take place.
Although it is natural for us to be deceived by such worries, it is a sign of a weak soul easily drawn away by the suggestions of the enemy. For he does not care if it is true or not when he tricks and deceives you. It matters little whether he overcomes you with love of things present or fear of things to come. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (Jn 14:27). Believe in me and confide in my mercy.
I am often closest to you when you think that I am far away. When you think that almost all is lost, it is often then that you are about to gain the greatest merit. All is not lost when something happens contrary to what you wanted. You must not judge according to how you feel at present, nor give yourself up easily to any trouble no matter where it comes from, nor imagine that all hope of deliverance is gone.
Do not think of yourself as completely forsaken, even if for a while I have sent you some tribulation, or taken some consolation away from you that you desire, for this is the road to the kingdom of heaven. Without a doubt it is more useful for you, and for the rest of my servants, that you be tried by adversity instead of having everything go according to your desires.
I know your hidden thoughts. I know that it is very necessary for your salvation that at times you should be left without any consolation. Otherwise you might become proud of your success and complacent about yourself, thinking that you are what you are not. What I have given, I can rightly take away and then give back again when I please.
When I give it to you, it is still mine. When I take it away again, I am not taking anything that is yours. “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above” (Jas 1:17). If I send you affliction or some adversity, do not grieve or be downhearted. I can quickly lift you up again and turn all your trouble into joy. However, I am to be praised when I deal with you in this way, for I am just.
If you are thinking correctly and consider things in truth, you should never be too downhearted or troubled by adversity. Instead you should rejoice and give thanks. Count it as a special joy that I do not spare you, but send you sorrow.
I said to my beloved disciples that “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you” (Jn 15:9), and I certainly did not send them to temporal joys, but to great battles; not to honors, but to contempt; not to idleness, but to work; not to rest, but to “bear fruit with patient endurance” (Lk 8:15). Keep these words in mind, my child.
Thomas à Kempis. (2010). Solace in Suffering: Wisdom from Thomas à Kempis. (M. L. Hill, Ed.) (pp. 61–64). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.