THE ART OF SUFFERING 1 DVD. The road of the cross is really a crossroad, a junction of choice; we must turn either right or left. We must choose either to accept each cross or rebel against it. Our problem is, while we all want to grow, we tend to resist the process required for it. We tend to focus on the hurtful events, rather than seeing with faith – vision the growth God plans for us by means of them. Jesus explained that a soul must be painfully pruned or “cut back” (the bitter part of suffering) in order for it to enjoy the sweet fruitfulness to which it is called. Only faith-hardy souls, that is, branches that remain vitally linked to the Vine, submit to being pruned or “cut back”, while faith-weak souls are “cut off” by the divine Gardener as fruitless branches (see John 15:1-4). This is the basic truth when one is struggling with the crushing weight of one’s cross! We need reminders, like this teaching, to upgrade our motivation and to perceive more of God’s love camouflaged in the crosses he sends or permits in our lives.