1. Our blessed Lord was not satisfied with taking upon Himself the sins of the world; in His divine mercy and compassion He added to this a further sacrifice of Himself. He also took upon Himself all the sufferings of the just, and especially all that His saints and martyrs would have to suffer for Him. He endured beforehand the thousand forms of agony to which they would be subjected for His sake. Not only would He in His love and mercy redeem them, but "He bore their infirmities and carried their sorrows." What sufficient thanks can we show to Him for His unbounded goodness?
2. This it is which enabled the martyrs to despise their torments, and made the apostles rejoice to suffer shame for His sake. This it is which makes tolerable anguish which otherwise would be intolerable ; for if it be borne patiently for love of Christ, He has already in Himself, if not exhausted its bitterness, at least taken the main part of it on Himself. Every pang, every struggle, every throb of agony which should fall to the lot of His servants till the end of the world, He made His own for their relief.
3. For this reason we are taught to unite our sufferings with those of Our Lord; for what else does this mean except that He desires to share them with us ? In point of fact, the more we do, the more we bear our troubles with a supernatural motive, the lighter they will become, or rather the greater will be our power and willingness to bear them. I will be more resigned, more patient, for Christ's sake; to Him I will offer all my sufferings and unite them to His.
Source: The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ - Short Meditations for Everyday in Lent,
by Richard F. Clarke, S.J. Imprimatur 1889