The Extreme Remedy
It does not suffice to endure suffering in order to acquire experience. This demands reflection about oneself and the essential conditions of life....it requires the tranquilizing of the soul in God; it takes love, without which suffering embitters and confuses the soul instead of enlightening it.
Suffering is an extreme remedy which either cures the evil or makes it worse, which strengthens or kills. Both the physician's prescription and his attendance are necessary. "Unhappy is he," says Saint Bernard, "who carries the cross of Jesus but who is not with Jesus."
We console a person by sympathizing with his grief; but especially by showing him its beauty.
—Father Antonin Gilbert Sertillanges, O.P.
I thought seriously about whether to include that last line. I don't know how one could possibly say to a suffering person that his suffering is beautiful. Nevertheless, the idea is, if not an explicit part of the Christian faith, certainly a clear implication of it. So many people are embittered by suffering because they can see no purpose in it.