Gift by Asenat29
Suffering is inevitable. Quality of life as determining the worth of a human being should not be the ultimate goal of humanity. As Catholics, we know that Christ’s passion and Death gave dignity to suffering. Our Lord is the perfect example of how to embrace our suffering without complaint.
Offering up our suffering for the sake of souls is the best way that we can follow Christ’s admonition-
“…Be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” – (NAB Matthew 5:48)
Photograph by Steve Kelly
This brings eternal blessings to our own soul and to the souls of our brothers and sisters in Christ. God offers us the great gift of participating in the eternal salvation of the world in allowing us to suffer. This allows our day to day lives a continuation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is through offering our pain to the Father in union with Christ. I have had a chronic digestive disease at age 13. This has given me the experience of understanding the importance of sacrificial suffering.
‘To show the greatest love is to lay down your life for your friends.’ NAB John 15:12-14.
For most of us, this doesn’t need our literal physical death. This does lead to dying to one’s self, even as doing something as simple as standing on the bus when we’d rather sit.
It is important to offer up even the simple annoyances of daily life to God for the salvation of souls. This is great and important and has a wonderful effect. Saint Therese of Lisieux wrote as much in her spiritual autobiography The Story of a Soul
Saint Faustina also wrote to this effect in her spiritual autobiography Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice and to pray for them!” – Our Lady of Fatima
God asks that we help save our brothers and sisters. This is so that we learn greater love and empathy, humility, patience. This also helps us learn perseverance, and to better trust in Him. This is much like the way parents as their little children to help with chores even though they don’t need help.
All those who suffer and offer up their prayers comfort Christ Jesus. This grace we offer up to him comforted him in the Garden of Gethsemane and also his passion. What also comforts him is the contemplation of his passion and death. Also praying the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Also receiving the Eucharist when able, or looking at the Crucifix with devotion. This has been some of the greatest comforts to me when I was in the hospital. The knowledge that God himself suffered far worse than I do helps me. I know he understands my pain.
Adoption Movement: Saving Souls by Esmeralda Kiczek
Photograph by Cobalt123
She quotes many saints on the importance of sacrificial suffering. She includes a selection of prayers for the spiritually adopted brothers and sisters. The mere thought of my adopted brother or sister spurs me to endure my poor health in patience. It also helps with the many annoyances working at a fast food restaurant.
I feel that today’s society encourages a selfish lifestyle. I find it ironic this happens at the same time of clamoring for the understanding of some people who have been considered minorities. Yet what about the suffering and death of those not in the common racial or gender minority groups? This includes the murder of pre-born babies, elderly, and infirm. This also includes murdering those who have a body or mind less then their peers. This includes murdering those with treatable conditions. This also includes murdering those who are treatable but afraid of old age. This is murder for the sake of personal convenience.
We need great courage to speak up on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters. We must have great courage to embrace our suffering and to offer it to God in the face of such constant peer pressure.
“…Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (NAB Matthew 28:20).
Let us realize that alongside of us is a great cloud of witnesses. The mystical body of the Church, Christ Jesus and his Blessed Mother. Also countless angels and saints by our side every moment of our lives. Let this make us bold enough to overcome all challenges, whether they be large or small.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Photograph by Dennis Jarvis