Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
When sufferings come upon you and perhaps demand from you a daily kind of martyrdom, it is often a trial sent by God Himself to do a work in your soul that nothing else could have done. If it seems that it destroys the last ounce of self-love within you, be assured that the Lord is drawing you closer to His Sacred Heart than ever before. Despite their compassion and pity for you in your suffering, no true lover of God or one who truly loves you would seek to steal this cross from you. The devil will seek to pull you and others from this narrow way, but hold fast to the path of perfection by the light of obedience.
I feel the greatest compassion for you in the trial that the Good God is sending you at this present moment. It is a martyrdom. However, I am entirely conformed to the holy will of our dear Lord Who sends you this cross from His inmost Sacred Heart. Believe me, and I say this to you on the part of God: this trial has been sent to you by the love of our Lord, and it is to do a work in your soul that nothing else could have done. It will be the destruction of self-love, and when you come forth from this trial you will be a thousand times dearer to the Sacred Heart than before. So although I feel great pity for you, I would not for anything in the world have it otherwise, because I see that Jesus, Who loves you with a love a thousand times greater than that with which you love yourself, permits this trial to befall you. You may be sure that during all this time I shall recommend you to the Good God in my prayers and sacrifices, asking Him to give you the strength to profit greatly by this grace. You know that God chooses to lead us along the path of perfection by the light of obedience, and often He deprives us of all other light and leads us without letting us understand His ways. During this kind of trial you must keep yourself in complete submission and have an unshaken confidence— despite all that the devil or your reason may suggest to the contrary— that He will know how to draw His glory and your spiritual advantage from it in quite a different way from that which you would have chosen for yourself. I tell you in the name of God that this trial is a great grace for you , and I am so convinced of it that as soon as I saw its beginning I knew that it would continue some time; it is most painful, it is the greatest cross that God can lay upon the soul He loves, but as long as you are obedient, there is no danger.
Union with God, chapter 3, section 2
Marmion, Blessed Columba