Joseph Ratzinger on Suffering

“Pain and disease can paralyze one as a human being. They can shatter one to pieces, not only physically, but also psychologically and spiritually. However, they can also smash down complacency and spiritual lethargy and lead one to find oneself for the first time. The struggle with suffering is the place of human decision-making par excellence. Here the human project becomes flesh and blood. Here man is forced to face the fact that existence is not at his disposal, nor is his life his own property. Man may snap back defiantly that he will nevertheless try to acquire the power that will make it so. But in so doing, he makes a desperate anger his basic attitude to life. There is a second possibility: man can respond by seeking to trust this strange power to whom he is subject. He can allow himself to be led, unafraid, by the hand, without Angst-ridden concern for his situation. And in this second case, the human attitude towards pain, towards the presence of death within living, merges with the attitude we call love.”

Joseph Ratzinger, Eschatology, 95-96.

Mother Teresa in "Her own words"

“Where is my faith?” . . . “Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. . . If there be God — please forgive me.” . . . “Such deep longing for God… Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal,”
“What do I labor for?” . . . “If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”

Excerpts taken from letter’s written in her book as edited on CBS News (click to see full story).