I am attempting to use a different on line version of the Imitation of Christ in hope to make it a little easier to read and in some cases this version tells the reader where other quotes are taken from. I hope it is more fruitful!!! It has been said...(don't know if it is or was true) that the Imitation has remained, after the Bible, the most widely read book in the world. I do find it one of the best sources of meditation in my spiritual journey.
The Royal Road of the Holy Cross (part five)
Yet such a man, though afflicted in many ways, is not without hope of consolation, because he knows that great reward is coming to him for bearing his cross. And when he carries it willingly, every pang of tribulation is changed into hope of solace from God. Besides, the more the flesh is distressed by affliction, so much the more is the spirit strengthened by inward grace. Not infrequently a man is so strengthened by his love of trials and hardship in his desire to conform to the cross of Christ, that he does not wish to be without sorrow or pain, since he believes he will be the more acceptable to God if he is able to endure more and more grievous things for His sake.
It is the grace of Christ, and not the virtue of man, which can and does bring it about that through fervor of spirit frail flesh learns to love and to gain what it naturally hates and shuns.
This section definitely sounds more doable and positive...so let us endure our sufferings with joy and beg for the graces to grow closer to Christ because of them.