Endorsed by EWTN hosts Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, this do-it-yourself retreat combines the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius with the teachings of Sain... Read more
Suffering: What's the Use?
Suffering is the greatest treasure on earth; it purifies the soul. In suffering we learn who is our true friend.
— Diary of St. Faustina, 342
Whether we like it or not, being Christ-like involves suffering. Jesus says, "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Mt 16:24). Pope John Paul II best explained redemptive suffering — how suffering, when united with the suffering of Christ on the cross, can become life-giving and lead one onto the path of salvation. In his last book, Memory and Identity, he wrote: "In sacrificing Himself for us all, Christ gave a new meaning to suffering, opening up a new dimension, a new order: the order of love ..."
Suffering can take many forms. It can be physical and spiritual. It can be disease and a broken bone. It can come in the form of fear, anxiety, anger, loneliness, despair, lack of faith, lack of trust, and lack of purpose. Let's pray today to direct our suffering to good ends beyond ourselves. For me this Advent, I direct my sufferings to the children who, because of illness, cannot be home for Christmas this year.
Lord, help me to offer my sufferings for their families as well. Give me the strength and wisdom to suffer out of love and to love while I suffer.