In fact, it is through our small sufferings that we are given a marvelous means of putting the vast expanse of suffering in the world to good use and making it fruitful. Nothing at a time like this is so sad as seeing the whole world going through such exceptional sufferings and going through it blindly.
However, these sufferings, just like our own, are divided up and apportioned to each person. So, it is a great joy for us to know that by ‘willing” each part of our small allotment of suffering we become the seeing eyes of the grieving, groping world.
Sometimes a single colored vase in a room can bring out all the objects of the same color that up to that moment went unnoticed. I find myself thinking that as he looks upon the world, God sees some small act of good will shining, and for its sake find the dreary passivity of the whole enterprise a sacrifice worthy of acceptance.
A small suffering freely accepted gives meaning and value to untold volumes of vast suffering throughout the world. Through it we help the world perform a valid penance.
Has it ever occurred to us–so fond of news as we are and so swift at interpreting it whether with joy or gloom–have we ever thought that the fact of botching a small amount of our daily suffering–whether it be by getting up with bad grace in the morning, by turning up our noses at insipid food, or simply by cursing the numbing cold–is of greater significance to the real history of the world than the current disaster or victory reported over the radio?”