affliction (n.)

c. 1300, affliccioun, "misery, sorrow, pain, distress" (originally especially "self-inflicted pain, self-mortification, religious asceticism"), from Old French afliction "act of humility, humiliation, mortification, punishment" (11c.) and directly from Latin afflictionem (nominative afflictio), noun of action from past participle stem of affligere (see afflict). Meaning "a cause of constant pain or sorrow" is from 1590s.
"I know, O Lord [says the Psalmist] that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me;" the furnace of affliction being meant but to refine us from our earthly drossiness, and soften us for the impression of God’s own stamp and image. [Robert Boyle, "Seraphic Love," 1663]

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