St. Francis de Sales had this to say:
“To love God’s will in consolations is a good love when it is truly God’s will we love and not the consolation wherein it lies. Still, it is a love without opposition, repugnance, or effort. Who would not love so worthy a will in so agreeable a form? To love God’s will in His commandments, counsels, and inspirations is the second degree of love and it is much more perfect. It carries us forward to renounce and give up our own will, and enables us to abstain from and forbear many pleasures, but not all of them. To love suffering and affliction out of love for God is the summit of most holy charity. In it nothing is pleasant but the divine will alone; there is great opposition on the part of our nature; and not only do we forsake all pleasures, but we embrace torments and labors.”
In other words, it is easy to love God and His Holy Will for us when things are going well, especially when we love Him for His sake and not the goods we receive from Him. It’s quite another thing to love Him when we are suffering, when the whole world seems to be against us, when we are brow-beaten and worn. To see that the only good we have in those times is that we are doing His Will and to love the affliction upon us simply because His Divine Will is being done, is to love God beyond all measure. This is precisely what Jesus did on the cross. When we do the same, we are imitatio Christi, in imitation of Christ, which is a hallmark of discipleship.