There is a vocation to suffer with Christ and thereby to cooperate with him in his work of salvation. When we are united with the Lord, we are members of the Mystical Body of Christ: Christ lives on in his members and continues to suffer in them. And the suffering borne in union with the Lord is his suffering, incorporated in the great work of salvation and fruitful therein. That is a fundamental premise of all religious life, above all the life of Carmel, to stand proxy for sinners through voluntary and joyous suffering, and to cooperate in the salvation of humankind.
-St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Prayer to Imitate the Suffering Christ
O Jesus, You have called me to suffer because You on Your part suffered for me, leaving me an example that I might follow. When You were insulted, You did not return the insult. When You were mistreated, You did not counter with threats but entrusted Yourself to the One Who judges justly. By Your wounds we are healed. Help me to imitate You in suffering. Let me break with sin by means of my sufferings, so that I may no longer live according to the lusts of sinners but according to the Will of the Father.
Since You Yourself have suffered and been tempted I know that You are able to bring aid to all who suffer and are tempted. I entrust myself to You and to the Father, my Creator, knowing that You will never fail me.