I’m grateful my Catholic religion acknowledges the existence of brutal suffering. There have been moments of excruciating loss in my life that no mindfulness or cheerful efforts can overcome. News reports of tornadoes and massacres and war remind me that even though the world is a gorgeous place, it can also feel like a valley of tears.
In those moments, the image of Christ on the cross speaks to me as nothing else can. There are periods in every life when we feel as naked and vulnerable and racked with pain as Jesus on Calvary. We can’t fast-forward through them; we can only endure them, trying to find some comfort in the love of others and in the knowledge that God has suffered, too.
Think of someone you know who is in pain. Offer a prayer, write a note of support, or do a concrete act of love to help him or her through this dark time.