I recently saw this statue of St Francis of Assisi (outside the Santa Barbara Mission Church in California). It made me think think about how on the Cross, Jesus offers himself to each one of us. He invites each one of us to receive him as he is, and to share everything with him – and that means that we will suffer. But it’s a suffering out of love; it’s a suffering that has meaning.
Maybe another St Francis (de Sales) said it best:
“The everlasting God has in his wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that he now presents to you as a gift from his innermost heart. This cross he now sends you he has considered with his all-knowing eyes, understood with his divine mind, tested with his wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with his own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with his holy name, anointed it with his grace… taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you.”