The saint who reminds me of this truism the most is St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who I have labelled on this blog, the Saint of Love.
Another saint of love is St. Alphonsus. He stated that both his honor and glory in God and his greatest temptation to sin was love.
Adam made a huge mistake. Eve sinned first, out of stupid curiosity. Then, she wanted Adam to sin with sin. She had lost pure love and wanted either prideful solace in suffering or she experienced fear, possibly malice.
Adam did not have to sin. He could see clearly the change in Eve. She was lost to him, lost to God, no longer living in sanctifying grace. Yet, he chose to be with her instead of God. That is called the sin of idolatry.
And, to this day, we call Original Sin, the Sin of Adam, as if he, as the primary leader in nature had not sinned, there would be no Original Sin. God would have raised up another Eve, I suppose.
But, Adam had not yet experienced pain and suffering, having not sinned. He could have sacrificed Eve's company for God's. Adam still was in a state of perfection we offspring cannot understand until we get there. He did not have to sin.
He freely chose sin rather than sacrificing without pain. Interesting.
In Gethsemane, because of the Fall, Jesus felt pain and suffering in His sacrifice. He willingly stepped outside the joy of sacrifice without pain, the constant love of heaven, wherein joy after joy is experienced in true love, and took on Himself the pain and suffering we feel when we must sacrifice something or someone.
What Adam refused to do without pain, Christ took on in pain.
Christ is our model for this type of sacrificial love. Sometimes, when one must sacrifice, one cannot quite believe what is happening. If the sacrifice is the death of a close loved one, one may be in shock or denial for a while. The same is true when one loses the love of one who is loved. Shock and denial may follow.
Shock and denial form part of grief, and these states are now natural to all men and women. But, at first, mankind did not experience such deep movements of suffering and pain.
That Christ chose to do so is a miracle for us. He took on sin, He became sin so that we can be free.
We do not have to experience the shock and denial of losing eternal life, eternal love because of His sacrifice.
And, He wants to teach us the same. He gives us opportunities almost daily to step out of complacency and accept suffering in joy.
St. Therese the Little Flower provides an example for us-her "unfelt joy" reminds us that suffering is not only efficacious, but a sharing in the love of Christ.
When we look at the Cross, we see suffering without joy, but with acceptance, with peace.