As Catholics we are supposed to be counter cultural. But are we?
What spiritual concept is more foreign in today's culture than the idea that we should embrace suffering? Probably none, since the majority of us run away from, reject, and complain about any and all forms of suffering. We are always looking for some pill to pop or syrup to ingest to get rid of even the slightest physical pain. How many of us seek escape from emotional pain through the abuse of alcohol, drugs, food, and sex?
We forget that Christ not only suffered and died for us but He told us we too must pick up the crosses He sends us and suffer as did He if we wish to be with Him eternally. If you express that vital teaching today, most of those with whom you share it will mock you for believing so. The fact that they reject this essential Truth doesn't change it from being true!
While we do not have to seek suffering, when it comes our way may we embrace it as God's will for us and draw strength, comfort and encouragement from the words of this great spiritual director:
Admittedly, this is a lot easier to say than to do. Embracing suffering is impossible without God's grace - grace readily available and sufficient for those who seek and grasp it.