Saturday, March 23, 2019


Pain puts on an equal footing all who suffer, which is to put all men on an equal footing, because all men suffer; happiness separates us, suffering unites us with fraternal bonds. Pain takes away what we have plenty of and gives us what we lack, giving man a perfect balance: the proud does not suffer without losing some of his pride, nor the ambitious without losing some of his ambition, nor the angry without losing some of his anger, or the lustful without losing some of his lust. Sorrow puts out the fires of passion; at the same time that it takes away what harms us, it gives us what ennobles us; the hard-hearted never suffer without feeling more inclined to compassion, nor the haughty without being more humble, nor the lustful without becoming more chaste; the violent is tamed, the weak is strengthened. No one comes out from that great forge of pain worse than he went in; most come out of it with great virtues that they never knew before: he who enters impious comes out religious; he who enters greedy comes out as a beggar; he who enters without ever having cried comes out with the gift of tears; he who enters hard-hearted comes out full of mercy. Pain has something fortifying, virile and profound, that is the origin of all heroism and all greatness; none have felt its mysterious contact without growing; pain gives the child the virility of the young men, it gives the young men the maturity and seriousness of the grown men, it gives the grown men the strength of the heroes, and it gives the heroes the holiness of the saints.

Juan Donoso Cortés