Choose a topic from Part 2A:

37. Effects of Sorrow or Pain

1. Bodily pain is a hindrance to the mind in its efforts to study, whether to learn new things or to attend to what is already learned. Pain may be so intense as to draw the whole attention of the mind to itself, and this makes learning impossible. Yet a man deeply devoted to learning may continue to use his mind despite a considerable degree of bodily pain. As for mental distress, a mild sorrow may actually incline the mind to study, especially to study the things of God through whom man hopes to be freed from pain and sorrow.

2. Pain is a burden upon the soul; it is a cause of depression.

3. Therefore, sorrow weakens the activity of the soul. What is done in sorrow or pain is ordinarily not so well done as it would be done without a burdening influence upon the soul. But, unless sorrow be overwhelming, it may sometimes, indirectly, improve the work of the soul inasmuch as the soul is determined to shake it off and banish it by strict and careful attention to the work in hand.

4. Of all the passions, sorrow or pain is the most harmful to man's bodily being. It is a depressing and contractive influence, repugnant to the normal movements of life.

"O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you? "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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