Wasting Pain

(Image source: EWTN)

The greatest tragedy in the world, Cardinal Cushing once said, was not pain, but wasting pain.  We all suffer, everyone of us, the youngest to oldest.  We suffer loneliness, cancer, the loss of a wife, a husband, a child; we suffer misunderstandings, family conflicts, ruptured friendships, cosmetic disfigurement, mental, emotional, physical incapacities.  We suffer a sense of utter powerlessness, an empty feeling of futility.  The world is awash in pain.  How tragic if that pain is wasted; that pain can be united with the suffering of Christ on the cross to achieve enormous good. 

The Cardinal knew that Christ did not make possible the salvation of the world through his teaching, his preaching, his miracles, but by his suffering and death on the cross.  When He appeared to be utterly powerless, He was radiating the greatest power unleashed in the world.  When He was crying out, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”  He was filling billions of hearts yet to come with comfort, with peace.  I unite a headache, a backache, a heartache with Christ on the cross, and wondrous graces flow into the heart of a widow who has lost her only son in Nigeria, a lonely teenager contemplating suicide in San Francisco, a woman ravaged with cancer in New York.  My pain, trifling or overwhelming, has not gone wasted. 
(John Cardinal O'Connor, Servant of God)

[There are 1199 other inspiring and challenging quotations to ponder in Forgotten Truths to Set Faith Afire! - Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct]