Redemptive. The third quality of suffering brings the greatest joy to holy souls, because it most resembles the suffering of Our Crucified Lord. Redemptive suffering is the highest form of suffering because it is directed not inward towards the souls own sanctification, but outward towards others. It is the culminating act in the work of Christ, and thus there is nothing greater that we can do in our imitation of Him. This form of suffering not only serves to sanctify the soul, but also the Church as well, and indeed the entire world. In this way, the soul participates most intimately with the mission of our Creator. While it is true that a soul does not necessarily have to pass through the first two qualities of suffering in order to suffer redemptively (Any form of suffering, no matter how small, has the potential to take on a redemptive character. Saint Teresa says that even a toothache can be offered for the conversion of sinners), it is also true that the more a soul has been tested and tried in the previous two kinds of suffering, the more graces will its redemptive suffering merit. Therefore, if a soul truly wants to convert the greatest number of souls and bring the greatest glory to God in this life, then it must put its hand to the plow of self-mastery, that is; self-conversion. As Saint Faustina said; "O my Jesus, I know that, in order to be useful to souls, one has to strive for the closest possible union with You, who are Eternal Love... I can be wholly useful to the Church by my personal sanctity, which throbs with life in the whole Church, for we all make up one organism in Jesus." To illustrate this reality, she was later made to understand that she saved a thousand souls in just forty days through her prayers and sacrifices alone, behind the walls of the cloister;
"On the First Friday of the month, before Communion, I saw a large ciborium filled with sacred hosts. A hand placed the ciborium in front of me, and I took it in my hands. There were a thousand living hosts inside. Then I heard a voice, These are hosts which have been received by the souls for whom you have obtained the grace of true conversion during this Lent." (Diary, p640)Saint Teresa of the Andes
"We [religious] are co-redeemers of the world. And souls are not redeemed without the cross."
In a vision given to Saint Faustina, we observe how religious communities sustain the world in existence, acting as a shield blunting the sword of God's justice upon the world;
"During the renewal of the vows, I saw the Lord Jesus on the Epistle side (of the altar), wearing a white garment with a golden belt and holding a terrible sword in His hand. This lasted until the moment when the sisters began to renew their vows. Then I saw a resplendence beyond compare and, in front of this brilliance, a white cloud in the shape of a scale. Then Jesus approached and put the sword on one side of the scale, and it fell heavily towards the ground until it was about to touch it. Just then the sisters finished renewing their vows. Then I saw Angels who took something from each of the sisters and placed it in a golden vessel on the other side of the scale, it immediately out weighed and raised up the side on which the sword had been laid. At that moment, a flame issued forth from the thurible, and it reached all the way to the brilliance. Then I heard a voice coming from the brilliance: "Put the sword back in its place; the sacrifice is greater."
What great glory, at so little cost! And how few people really understand this reality! As Our Lady revealed to Venerable Mary of Agreda, if the saints in heaven were able to feel regret, they would be astonished at themselves for not making full use of the time by letting no opportunity pass for sacrifice. Let us then take advantage of this gift that we have been given, and recall the profound love Our Lord has for us. All He asks of us is our love, and if we are willing, a little suffering. And for such a small price, He will descend into the world and reverse the fate of souls who have co-signed themselves to eternal destruction. What then is a little discomfort on earth, compared to an eternity of bliss? As the saints reveal to us, there is no greater weapon for conversion than this.