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