Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Church liturgical season of prayer, penance, sacrifice, self-denial, repentance, and atonement for 40 days prior to Easter.
During this important time in the Church year, and hopefully by our Lenten deeds, Christ's Resurrection will instill in us a love for sharing His Passion. The crucibles we encounter often is like gold being tested in fire until only the pureness remains; diamonds found deep into the Earth are cut and polished until they shine with brilliance. We are very much like the 'gold' and the 'diamonds', we have to be tried and tested many times in this life before we, too, radiate with God's beauty.
-Do not be dismayed by toil or suffering, nor by the meager fruit of your labors. Remember that God rewards not according to results, but effort.- Bl. Zefrinino Agnostini
-As the pilot of a vessel is tested in the storm, the wrestler is tested in the ring, the soldier in the battle, and the hero in adversity: So is the Christian tested in temptation. - St. Basil the Great
The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. - Oscar Wilde.
There are some very good reading material written on Lent by Ven. Bishop Sheen. I highly recommend these to read if my readers haven't already.