Saint Robert Bellarmine Quote:
We must all strive to be intimately convinced that everything which happens by chance or accident, as a great drought, too much rain, pestilence, famine, and the like, does not happen without the special Providence and will of God, and consequently we should not complain of the elements, or of God Himself, but should-regard evils of this kind as a scourge with which God punishes us for our sins, and bowing ourselves beneath His Almighty hand, bear everything in humility and patience. God will thus be appeased. He will scatter His benedictions upon us. He will chastise us as His sons with a fatherly love, and will not deprive us of the kingdom of heaven.
We may learn what is the reward of patience from an example which St. Gregory adduces. In the thirty-fifth homily on the Gospels, he says that a certain man Stephen was so patient as to consider those that oppressed him his greatest friends; he returned thanks for insults; he looked upon misfortunes as gains; he counted his enemies in the number of his well-wishers and benefactors. The world considered him as a fool and madman, but he turned no deaf ear to the words of the Apostle of Christ; "If any man among you seem to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise." And St. Gregory adds that when he was dying many angels were seen assisting round his couch, who carried his soul straight to heaven, and the holy Doctor did not hesitate to rank Stephen amongst the martyrs on account of his extraordinary patience.