The Lord asks every Christian to follow him closely, and for this it is necessary to accompany him to Calvary. We should never forget these words: he who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Long before suffering on the Cross, Jesus already spoke to his followers that they would have to bear it.
There is in mortification a paradox, a mystery, which can only be understood when there is love: behind the apparent death there is Life; and he who selfishly tries to keep life for himself, loses it: he who wants to save his life will lose it: and he who loses it for my sake will find it. In order to bear fruit, loving God, helping others in an effective way, sacrifice is necessary. There is no harvest without sowing: if the grain of wheat does not die when it falls into the ground, it remains unfruitful; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. To be supernaturally effective, one must die to oneself by continual mortification, completely forgetting one's comfort and selfishness. "-Do you not want to be a grain of wheat, to die by mortification, and to bear ears of grain? -May Jesus bless your wheatfield!".
We must lose the fear of sacrifice, of voluntary mortification, because the Cross is willed for us by a Father who loves us and knows well what is best for us. He always wants the best for us: "Come to me, you who labor and are heavy laden," he says, "and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Together with Christ, tribulations and sorrows do not oppress, they do not weigh us down, and on the contrary, they dispose the soul to prayer, to see God in the events of life.
With mortification we rise up to the Lord; without it we remain at ground level. With voluntary sacrifice, with pain offered and borne with patience and love, we unite ourselves firmly to the Lord. "As if to say: all of you who burn in torment, afflicted and burdened with the load of your cares and appetites, come out of them and come to me, and I will give you rest, and you will find for your souls the rest that your appetites take away from you.