Matter of Faith: Does suffering make any sense?


From: Mary Zimmerman

I’m quite sure your first thought would be no; suffering is senseless. But let’s take it a little further, starting with Jesus’ suffering, without which you and I would still be bound up in our sins with no escape. Jesus changed all that, but not without a LOT of suffering. Meditate upon the sorrowful mysteries of the rosaries to bring to mind, if you can, God’s great pain and suffering:
• Agony in the garden — so much so that He sweat blood.
• The scourging is not even imaginable!
• The crucifixes we have don’t come close to displaying His real suffering and pain.
• The crowning of thorns — not a crown of roses such as Mary’s.
• The carrying of the cross, which is another meditate called The Stations of the Cross.

God is pleased when we often meditate and review the above. It’s beneficial to dwell upon the other mysteries of the rosary as well (the joyful) as long as our minds turn toward baby Jesus and not just Santa Claus. Another mystery is the resurrection: Jesus rising from the dead on Easter Sunday. Don’t just think of the chocolate-giving bunny. We too will rise at the end of the world; our bodies will again join our souls.

The Luminous Mysteries involve the institution of the Eucharist. Let us reflect the best we can when we receive Holy Communion. It’s the body of Jesus — not just bread, but the bread of life; eat this bread and you’ll live forever.

Some of the apostles were crucified as well — Peter, upside down. St. Faustina, St. Theresa, St. Francis … on and on they suffered willingly and won the prize of Heaven.

Now don’t go looking for pain, but be accepting of it when it comes. I’m not implying here that you shouldn’t take an aspirin when you have a headache, or wrap yourself in a sackcloth (a rough garment worn as a sign of penance).

I’d like now to share an article I recently found in a notebook of mine from years ago when I didn’t have the Winona Post as an outlet for my writing:

“I give you my sufferings, dear Jesus. I offer you my prayers, joys, and sufferings of this day and everyday. I do not fully understand my suffering, dear Jesus. Is it meant to help others? My family? Then take it dear Jesus; I only ask for the grace to endure.

I know the writing I do is a gift from you. I ask you, in exchange for my time, graces for my family. Dear Jesus, I love them so; please love them, too. Let the benefits of my suffering go directly into the souls of my children, lest they lose their way along the road that leads to you. If they ever detour onto another path, gently call them back to you.

Be patient with them Lord. Let your love melt away from their souls all that displeases you and make them clean, oh Lord. I understand not my suffering, but take it Lord, and save my family.”

Those who read my articles know my life has not been void of pain and suffering, but I do not need a pity-party, as I have much to be thankful for!


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