Yesterday, these two verses from Chapter 10 of St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians lightened my load. They are the famous verses 12 and 13:
12: Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.
13: No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.
One of my favorite saints is Padre Pio, now known as St. Pio. EWTN's website has the following, and it is so inspiring:
When I was really ill after Jay was born, I fought hard to live. As it ought to be, my prayers and those of some of my family and many of our friends, were weapons. Lent is an opportunity to look at Jesus on His Holy Cross and realize that our God suffers as we suffer. Compassion means "to suffer with". Clearly, there are many ways to go about suffering with someone in need. I have been as needy as they come, and I marvelled at the compassion of my God and my fellow man.
As the first Sunday of Lent quickly approaches, I want to encourage anyone reading this to suffer with someone during this Lent 2007. It is not about "tit for tat," meaning to give for the sake of reward. True compassion gives without counting the cost. Christ demonstrates to us what our interior disposition ought to look like. It, at times, looks like Jesus on His bloody Cross. We must not shy away from the Cross. Read the conversion story of Edith Stein. She was murdered by the Nazis. She embraced her suffering for the salvation of her own soul and the salvation of others. This is an utterly counter-cultural way of approaching life, as things stand today.