Suffering first entered the world when the devil rebelled against God. He then tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God. Because of the Fall, humans experience sin and its effects.
“God never allows any evil without drawing a greater good from it.”
God does not will suffering and death. Rather, he permits them because he respects our freedom: we are free to love or reject him. Yet, God can even use our sin to draw us to himself, using it to help us, teach us, and mature us.
Jesus calls us to imitate him. We must not settle for a mediocre, comfortable Christianity that strips the grandeur of conformity to Christ in his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. By taking on even our suffering, Christ gives meaning to pain, hardship, and struggle. He unites our human suffering to his own divine love, transforming our worldly fear of mortification into a filial fear—a desire motivated by love and longing to cling to God.