It is related that when St Peter was leaving Rome in the time of persecution, he met our Lord Jesus Christ, who was carrying a heavy cross upon his shoulders. St Peter asked his Lord whither he was going in that sad condition, and our Lord answered him: “I am going to Rome to deliver Myself to be crucified for you, because you refuse to suffer for me.” St Peter, ashamed of his weakness, and penetrated by a lively sorrow, returned to Rome, where, with great courage and joy, he suffered martyrdom for the name and honour of his Divine Master.
We have imitated St Peter in his weakness; when shall we imitate him in his generosity? Alas! how often might our Lord Jesus Christ say to us: I am going to give Myself up again to death for you, because you refuse to bear My cross! We would like to have nothing to suffer; we complain and murmur at the least trouble. The mere sound of the word “sufferings,” nay, even the thought of it, makes us tremble.
Is this to be a Christian, is this to be a disciple of a God who died for us on the cross? O suffering Saviour, teach us to suffer! sanctify us through our sufferings, united with thine, and receiving all their merit from thine! Let us then be a little more considerate, and instead of bewailing our sufferings, let us praise God who gives us the means, with the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins.
A soul that cannot suffer cannot love. True love only shows itself in suffering. Jesus Christ has planted the cross in order to show us the way to heaven; He holds it before the soul to guide her there.
Many Saints would have been lost without suffering, and many lost souls would have been great saints through suffering. It is better to weep than to sin. Weep now with the penitent, that by and by you may rejoice with the elect.
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905