It’s natural to seek voices for our pain, and images to match. But pain isn’t a condition to which you should aspire. Pain isn’t glamorous, or deep, or special, or interesting. Pain is usually a sign that something is wrong, and if it’s fixable, you need to fix it. And any book that tells you otherwise is suspect. Such stories of female martyrs lead us astray—they’re a sly and sneaky way to prevent women from ever really standing up for themselves. Agnes, Dymphna, Barbara, Cecilia: they’re all defiant and principled. But to be defiant and principled, in this book, is to let people treat you terribly, and do nothing to stop it. Here suffering is something God actively wants for us; it’s only by submitting virtuously and constantly to it that we can prove we’re truly good. Too good for this world, in fact, which means we must self-destruct.