Sharing in Christ’s Passion
God gives us trials (no matter what their source) and poverty to lead us to true and perfect patience, and so that we may realize how fickle and unreliable the world is. This makes us detach our affection and desire from the world and set it on God alone by means of our hardships. For every hardship we endure for love of God is rewarded. Its fruit is kept for us in everlasting life, where there is life without death, light without darkness, satiety without boredom, and hunger without pain. This is what Saint Augustine says: “Satiety is far from boredom, and hunger is far from pain.” In the other life every good is rewarded and every sin is punished.
So those who have this living faith give birth to true and holy deeds. They are genuinely patient in suffering any pain or hardship for God and for the remission of their sins. In fact, they hold all suffering in reverence, reflecting who it is that gives it, and why, and to whom.
Who is the giver of suffering? It is God, supreme eternal Goodness, and God does it not out of hatred but out of a special love. So [Christ] said to his disciples, “It is not hatred but a special love that makes me send you out to be persecuted and martyred by the world. I love you with the same love with which my Father has loved me, and because he loved me with a special love he sent me to suffer the shameful pain of the most holy cross.”