(an excerpt from “All You Who Labor” by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński)
Work is certainly hard enough on its own, but when sadness is added to it, the burden is all the heavier. An impatient man tires himself out more and for longer at work: not only does he suffer from the toil itself but from his own impatience and the sadness that goes with it. Indeed, it is not so much the burden of work this man suffers from as the burden of impatience. On the other hand, a man with self-control does the work entrusted to him far more quickly and easily.
Work done in a spirit of sadness has yet another bad result: the loss of moral fruit and of supernatural merit. The toil involved in such work no longer has the character of redemption and atonement, but is really “toil by the sweat of one’s brow,” in grief and pain. Going through one’s daily occupations in such pain, one can truly ask with Ecclesiastes, “What gain has the worker from his toil?” (Ecclesiastes 3:9) One takes a lot of pains, but everything shows itself to be “vanity of vanities.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
To prevent such an unfortunate result of our work, we must conquer sadness by supernatural motives. Impatience must be overcome by the love of our neighbor. It is not usually inner hostility that warps this love, but impatience. Still, this is not the most important motive in the struggle with sadness. It is more important to realize that patience in work brings results both in this world and in the life to come: in this world, by way of atonement for the sins we have committed; in the next, by the glorious crowning of life’s labors.
When we have before our eyes the patience of those around us, the patience of the saints and of the Good Shepherd, Christ our Lord, we gain new strength for the fight. The wanderings of Christ in search of souls throughout the length and breadth of the Holy Land: this is the outstanding example of patience.
The patience of the heavenly Father, as He wins souls for Heaven, and struggles with man for man’s happiness, should also be a considerable encouragement to us, that from anguish we may attain patience, from patience, experience, and from experience, hope; for hope does not deceive. “In patience you shall possess your souls.” (Luke 21:19)
Jesus, in private revelation given to Alicja Lenczewska:
“Ask for the light to know the truth and for Mercy over your misery. Do not be irritable, do not insist on your own way, do not find evil in others and injustice in God and people. Do not accuse others and do not complain that you have been harmed.
“You have encountered My Grace and My Mercy because I wish to call you from the blind alleys to the path leading back to Me. Thank your God for the grace of beckoning, the grace of contrition, and the grace of penitential atonement. Put your soul in order and ask Me to cleanse it of everything that is not pure Love of God and your neighbor.”
“To love with thought means to immerse every evil and weakness that you notice in your neighbor, of which you learn, in Mercy — to pray, forgive and wish for him or her to rise. In particular the evil that affects and harms you: enshroud it in Mercy.
“If somebody has fallen into the mud and struggles in it, there is no way that he does not dirty others with it, particularly those who stand the closest. Do not flee to cleanse yourself then and do not reach for the mud either to splash it on others in retaliation, for you do not help them and only get soiled yourself.
“Love so much that love dries the puddle others are in and the mud that has soiled them. Love that is ardent will make the mud dry and come off from both them and you.”