Only at night do we see the stars

Suffering teaches wisdom. This is the belief expressed by Chiara Lubich in the following reflection. We should approach those who suffer not only with compassion, but with an attitude of reverence and listening.

Why is that some people, although unlettered, even in religious fields,

have become saints by reading only one book, that of the crucified Christ?

It is because they did not stop at contemplating him, or at venerating him

or at kissing his wounds, but they wanted to relive him in themselves. And

those who suffer, and are in darkness, see farther than those who do not

suffer, precisely because the sun must set before we can see the stars.

Suffering teaches what you cannot learn by any other means. It teaches

with the greatest authority. It is the teacher of wisdom, and blessed is the one

who has found wisdom (see Proverbs 3:13). “Blessed are those who mourn, for

they will be comforted” (Mt 5:4). Blessed not only with the reward of heaven, but also with the contemplation of heavenly things while here on earth.

We have to approach with reverence those who suffer, reverence like that

once accorded the elderly when their wisdom was sought.

Chiara Lubich

Taken from “The sun must set” in Chiara Lubich: Essential Writings, New City Press, Hyde Park, New York 2007, p 92.




  • Chiara è stata la mia maestra spirituale ed umana fin dalla mia giovinezza ed oggi continua ad guidarmi sul cammino della vita passo dopo passo. Al Lei, che con il suo “Sì” a Dio è stata il veicolo di tanto amore, sapienza e gioia di vivere.
    Grazie di tutto e per tutto !

  • Chiara riesce sempre a stupirmi! Penso che anche per chi non crede in Dio la sofferenza sia una maestra di vita perché fa come uno strofinaccio con la polvere sopra un mobile. Certo è che per chi crede e la sa accettare e prendere dalle mani stesse di Dio, la sofferenza spalanca una voragine di sapienza e costui comincia a vedere chiaramente sia le cose della sua vita sia quelle di chi gli sta intorno. E gli viene spontaneo dar lode a Dio e ringraziarlo per tale predilezione.

  • This wisdom is being experienced by many Filipinos who have suffered and are still suffering from the social ills and tragedies from injustice, calamities etc. And they say may awa ang diyos (God has mercy on us). Many of them believe that God will not abandon them.

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