Suffering Makes Our Stories Better

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina's Diary, and you'll find spiritual gems. Like this one: 

I saw that God Himself seemed to be opposing [Fr. Sopocko], and I asked the Lord why He was acting in this way toward him, as though He were placing obstacles in the way of his doing what He Himself had asked him to do. And the Lord said, "I am acting thus with him to give testimony that this work is Mine. Tell him not to fear anything; My gaze is on him day and night. There will be as many crowns to form his crown as there will be souls saved by this work. It is not for the success of a work, but for the suffering that I give reward" (Diary, 90).

Where would Luke Skywalker be without Darth Vader? Or Dorothy without the Wicked Witch of the West? Or Rocky without Apollo Creed?

The most memorable stories are not about people who had it easy. They’re about people who faced difficult circumstances and, despite their own weaknesses, persevered. This is true about almost any story that's worth listening to. 

In this context, consider the Diary passage above. To St. Faustina, it seemed like God was purposefully placing obstacles in the way of Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko. The Lord didn't deny this! He said, "I am acting thus with him to give testimony that this work is Mine." By this statement, God implies that if a certain work is His, it probably won't come about very easily. 

Think about the spreading of the Divine Mercy message and devotion itself. Jesus could have made it easier on everyone if He simply appeared to the Pope. Instead, He chose to appear to an obscure, uneducated nun in war-torn Poland. Then to continue to carry on the message, He chose a religious order that had dwindled to just one man in the early 20th century — the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Instead of these obstacles hindering the spreading of Divine Mercy to the world, they have simply proven that this devotion must have had a divine origin!

The same is true when it comes to our own trials. If God is working on bringing about something great in our lives, it will surely be surrounded by much suffering. So in the midst of our trials, instead of wondering where God is, let’s remember that suffering is a sign that God is actually with us.

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Photo by Matt Marzorati on Unsplash

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By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina’s Diary, and you’ll find spiritual gems, like this one:

My daughter, all your miseries have been consumed in the flame of My love, like a little twig thrown into a roaring fire. By humbling yourself in this way, you draw upon yourself and upon other souls an entire sea of My mercy (Diary, 178).

In the spiritual life, obedience is an essential part of living out the Gospel.

Jesus can forgive any sin for which you repent, but He asks us to make reparation for our sins, too. Let's take a look.