The Following of Christ
The better you prepare yourself to suffer, the more wisely you act when affliction comes upon you. It is by practice that you train yourself to endure suffering.
Do not say, “I cannot stand it from this man. I do not have to tolerate such things from him because he has done me great wrong. He has accused me of things of which I never thought—but perhaps I could take it from another.”
Such thoughts are unwise, because you ignore both the virtue and the power of patience and of him who is to reward it.
He who is willing to suffer only what seems fair to him, and from whom he pleases, is not a truly patient man.
A truly patient man does not care through whom his trial comes—whether through his superior, his equal, or his inferior, whether through a good man or one that is perverse and unworthy. He accepts with gratitude whatever adversity comes, and takes it as from the hand of the Lord.
Be prepared to fight if you want to win. Without struggle you will never wear the victor’s crown.
Geert Groote, 1340-1384, Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life, Deventer, Netherlands