No man has ever solved the problem of pain by refusing to accept the only explanation of it that will not drive a man to suicide or despair: that the love of God is somehow at the bottom of every tear, of every groan, of every cry of anguish. Even at the physical level, we sometimes forget that pain has a useful purpose.
If to clutch a red hot poker did not burn the baby's hands, few children would fail to go out, at a very early age, in a burst of flames! But mental pain, the sorrow of loss, the anguish of evil, also have their use: they provide the pyre upon which the old heart is burned in order that, phoenix-like, it may be born anew and immortal.
Therefore, one must, if one is to be happy, accept pain and understand its warmer and redemptive uses. Without a strong faith in God, the understanding of that most omnipresent of all problems, the problem of pain, is impossible; and life becomes a madness, an unendurable mystery.
- Malaya Catholic Newsletter, July 30, 1950 (1950.pdf pp26)