We embark on the Book of Job in matins, and this great testament of suffering gives us great poetry.
Troubles plague us until we die, and there is mercy in that limit. Cursing the day of his birth, wishing he had died on that day, recognizing how vain it is to live a life if it all comes to such grief, Job points to the mercy of that limit:
"For then I should have lain down and been tranquil;
had I slept, I should then have been at rest
With kings and counselors of the earth
who built where now there are ruins
Or with princes who had gold
and filled their houses with silver.
There the wicked cease from troubling,
there the weary are at rest.
There the captives are at ease together,
and hear not the voice of the slave driver.
Small and great are there the same,
and the servant is free from his master."
For to be pressed hard by God is hard, dying but never dead, though it be in service of the glory of the Lord:
"Why is light given to the toilers,
and life to the bitter in spirit?
They wait for death and it comes not;
they search for it rather than for hidden treasures,
Rejoice in it exultingly,
and are glad when they reach the grave:
Men whose path is hidden from them,
and whom God has hemmed in!"
We have just finished Ecclesiastes, and these two books communicate the deepest wisdom of worldly philosophy, a wisdom that is in no way effaced by the Paschal Mystery, but is in fact radicalized by it. Somehow, though, in the hell of godforsakenness absorbed into the Cross, in that other One Who traverses the flames with us, we can, perhaps, say Yes to the samsara of this wheel of pain, the eternal recurrence of the same wearisome torments.