Every religion and philosophy in a different way. For some, suffering is in the mind, it is imagined. Therefore, we must avoid it and push it out of the mind. For others, suffering is a sign of punishment from God and one who suffers has offended God is one way or another.
As Christians, we believe that suffering must be faced head on. Suffering is not a punishment for our sins. Suffering is a consequence of original sin and it falls where it falls. It doesn’t mean that God loves us any less. St. Catherine of Siena said that one who suffers is closes to God. St. Paul tells us that “We help make us what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.” Of course we know that there is nothing lacking in Our Lord’s work of salvation. But out of His great generosity allows us to work with Him as co-redeemers.
Suffering has power. It has the power to change us. When someone suffers, they can become more like Christ, or they can become very bitter and angry. In times past, the good Sisters used to say, “Offer it up!” Patiently accepting “our cross and following the Lord” gives character.
So, don’t waste your suffering. Allow it to change your life and use it a prayer for others. Off your sufferings to Our Lord for an end to abortion, for the sanctification of Priest, for the renewal of the Church, for peace in the world, for the conversion of a friend or family member, or for anything else that you wish. Suffering with prayer unites us to the Crucified Lord and forms us in the ways of the Gospel.
God love you!