Many graces come out of suffering, but one of the most important is that of detachment. When one is facing death, either as a meditation, or in illness or old age, detachment from people, things, status allows one to face God with purity of heart.
Remember, only the perfect see God, and suffering remains an important part of the process of purification.
If you have been following the mini-series, you have been reading the snippets from St. Alphonsus.
Here is another one for today. I have looked at his writings on not abusing God's mercy and on the shortness of human life. This part is connected to detachment, for, if we do not lose ourselves now, we shall lose God for all eternity.
Thanks to the great men of Papa Stronsay for this picture. http://papastronsaypictures.blogspot.com/
The Pain of Loss
1. The greatest pain of hell is not the fire nor the
darkness, not the stench, nor any other of all the material
torments of that dreadful prison of despair; it is the
pain of loss - that is, the pain of having lost God which
of itself may be said to constitute hell. The soul was
created to be forever united with God, and to enjoy the
sight of his enrapturing countenance. God is its last
 end, its only good, so that all the goods of earth and
heaven, without God, could not make it happy. Hence
it is that if a condemned soul in hell could possess and
love God, hell, with all its torments, would be to it a
paradise. But this will be its greatest punishment,
which will render it forever inconceivably miserable, to
be deprived of God for all eternity, without the least
hope of ever again beholding him or loving him.
Jesus, my Redeemer! nailed to the cross for my sake,
You are my hope; oh that I had died rather than offended
2. The soul, being created for God, has an instinctive
tendency to become united with its sovereign good, its
God; but being united with the body, when it wallows
in iniquity, it becomes so darkened by the created ob-
jects which allure the senses that it loses its sight,
and has so little knowledge of God as no longer to desire to
be united with him. But when separated from the body,
and from sensible objects, then it will know that God is
the only good that can render it happy. Therefore, as
soon as it shall have departed from here, it will feel itself
drawn with most powerful attraction towards a union
with God; but having left this life an enemy of God, it will
be not only kept back from him by its sins, as by a chain,
but dragged by them into hell, there to be forever sepa-
rated and at a distance from God. The wretched soul in
that eternal dungeon will know how beautiful God is,
but will not be able to behold him. It will know how
amiable God is, but will not be able to love him; it will
even feel itself forced by its sins to hate him; and this
will be its hell of hells, to know that it hates a God who
is infinitely lovely. It will desire that it were possible
to destroy God, to whom it is hateful; and to destroy
itself, hating God; and this will be the eternal occupa-
tion of this unhappy soul.
O Lord! have pity on me.
 3. This torment will be immensely increased by the
remembrance of the graces that God bestowed upon it,
and the love which he evinced towards it during its
lifetime. It will especially call to mind the love of
Jesus Christ in shedding his blood, and laying down his
life for its salvation; but, ungrateful soul, not to forego
its own miserable gratifications, it consented to lose God,
its sovereign good; and it will find that no hope will be
left of ever regaining him.
Ah, my God! If I were in hell, I would not be able to
love You, nor to repent of my sins; but as I have it now
in my power to repent and to love You, I am sorry with
my whole soul for having offended You, and love You
above all things. Grant me to remember continually
that hell which I have deserved, that I may love You
with still greater and greater fervor. O Mary, refuge of
sinners! do not abandon me.