Little corporal or spiritual tribulations are first steps of this lofty and holy ladder which great and generous souls climb. They ascend step by step until they reach the last rung. Then, at the summit, they find the purest suffering, without the slightest admixture of consolation coming from heaven or earth. And if these souls are faithful in not seeking consolation, they will pass from this pure suffering to the pure love of God, without anything else being mingled with it… But if the soul is faithful, what treasures it amasses! The storms pass and go, the soul approaches true, very sweet, and very close union with Jesus crucified, who transforms it in Himself and reproduces His own features in it.
Saint Paul of the Cross