In Christianity we very often meet the person who lives out the false principle that love and suffering are one and the same thing. So that somehow if my penance is wretched enough, or my marriage is miserable enough, I am the greater saint for enduring it. But of course this is absurd. There is no guarantee that the man who suffers does so out of love, just as there is no guarantee that a man’s first degree burns are a result of the lives he has saved in a fire. All we know is that at one point in his life he was in a great deal of pain, but this is nothing to canonize him for.
The only sure thing is that the man who loves must suffer to do so rightly. Properly understood, this is the man who has to keep his hands on the wheel while racing along at great speeds. Of course he could let go, but that would be dangerously, foolish. And yet many are the voices calling out love, love while their hands are flailing about in the vehicle. If anything, our Lord taught us that to know love correctly we must first be willing to hold on to the cross for dear life.
So love, yes, love those God brings you, but then suffer for them; in small and large ways, still imperceptible to those who see no connection among real things. The cross is waiting for you, but so is the kind of love that many can only sing songs about.