Fr. Xavier said to me, "Certainly you've been meditating on how your pain and suffering connects with the suffering of your community with its lack of new vocations, right?" I was amazed to realize that no, I hadn't been reflecting on the meaning of my suffering at all!
You should know, by the way, that two weeks before that I had given a retreat to my brother Benedictines at Saint Andrew Abbey in Cleveland; my back was so bad that I had to sit down while I was preaching -- something I never do. I was taking Aleve every few hours. But it never occurred to me that my pain might have any sort of spiritual usefulness or purpose for the people on that retreat!
As my mother used to say, "That's the height of something-or-other!"
If you'd like to make this into a cautionary tale the moral might go like this: Take a close look at your life because the Lord may be trying to speak to you through your suffering while you're searching somewhere else.