“Suffering is a secret weapon. When united to Christ, it is a blade which severs the cords of slavery binding unknown brothers; it is a light sent to expose the darkness in the soul of a lost sister; it is a tidal wave of grace washing over some soul in the desert of sin… carrying that one away into a sea of Safety, an ocean of Mercy.
Oh how precious our suffering is!
How often we waste it…
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church. (Col 1:24)
Christ has taught man to do good by his suffering and to do good to those who suffer… This is the meaning of suffering, which is truly supernatural and at the same time human. It is supernatural because it is rooted in the divine mystery of the Redemption of the world, and it is likewise deeply human,because in it the person discovers himself, his own humanity, his own dignity, his own mission. We ask precisely you who are weak to become a source of strength for the Church and humanity. In the terrible battle between the forces of good and evil, revealed to our eyes by our modern world, may your suffering in union with the Cross of Christ be victorious! —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Salvifici Doloros; Apostolic Letter, February 11th, 1984“
(Quoted from Mark Mallett’s blog post below)