Here is some spiritual advice from St. Padre Pio on bearing our sufferings patiently and on the tremendous fruits that are produced when Jesus makes us aware of our sins, and therefore draws us to repentance out of love for him. The following is from one of his letters to his spiritual directees:
In all the events of life, recognize the divine will; adore it and bless it. Especially in the most difficult things, do not be solicitous that you be freed from them. Rather, lift your mind to our heavenly Father more than ever and say to him, “My life, like my death, is in your hands; do to me what pleases you most.”
In spiritual difficulties, say, “Lord God of my heart, you alone know what pains me and can read it in the depth of my being; you alone know that all my suffering is brought about because I am afraid of losing you, of offending you, of not loving you as you deserve; I desire to love you as I should. All things are present to you and you alone know the future; if you know it to be better for your glory and for my salvation that I might remain in this state [of suffering], then may it be so, and may I not desire to be spared from it. Grant me strength, that I might fight the good fight and obtain the prize given to strong souls.”
[…] Tell me something- is it proper to light or to darkness to illuminate and uncover objects? God alone is the supreme sun, […] God alone, I say, with His grace, is able to illumine the soul and show it its misery and unworthiness before Him; the more grace illumines the soul in knowing itself, the more radiant it is before Him.
I know that, by the work of this divine sun, discovering one’s unworthiness brings about sadness and affliction at first, pain and fear for the poor soul who in this way comes to be enlightened. But take consolation in our most merciful Lord, because when this divine sun warms the soil of your spirit with his burning rays, he will make many new plants sprout within your soul, which will bear the most exquisite fruits in their own time, fruits never before seen.
Of course, Jesus does not desire that we suffer simply for the sake of suffering. But when suffering comes, he can use it as a means to help us grow in virtue, to draw us closer to himself, and to help us and others keep our eyes focused on the reality that our time in this world is limited, and that Jesus desires for us to be with him for eternity in heaven. For our part, we are called to remain faithful to him and the truth he has revealed in himself, and which is preserved by his Church, even in moments of deep suffering.
Likewise, as St. Padre Pio mentions above, having our conscience pricked regarding our actions- without becoming scrupulous- is itself a blessing. This means that our conscience is still alive and well! Naturally, we do not like to claim our sins, and we often try to dismiss them or excuse ourselves from them. But when we bring them to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are not only absolved, but we also make it possible for Jesus to work more effectively in us and through us for his own plan of salvation.
Blessings to you all!