Try to receive your suffering as a privilege, or as the Medugorje visionary Vicka who suffers so much herself has said, as a gift from God.
Try. It’s easer said than done! But it doesn’t have to be something big, it might be nothing more than having to endure several failed attempts to insert a cannula. Or an everyday difficulty.
Don’t waste your suffering as Pope St. John Paul once said.
We struggle to understand this because we do not have a deep connection with the person of Jesus, his life and teaching, and with the true meaning of Christmas and Easter.
We pay more attention now to mindfulness and various other spiritual practices – good in themselves… as far as they go – but we do not have a deep connection with Jesus born of Mary, the son of the living God.
Jesus born of Mary is Heaven torn open, exposed… the mystery revealed, waiting for us to jump in, he is God who came down, lived among us, attempting – and still attempting – to reach us, leaving us a rather detailed understanding of eternity, how it works, what it’s like, what to expect…
We have been formed by divine teaching… but you’d hardly know it. He has revealed so much of the mystery.
He taught us there’s a definitive standard – love – by which we will be judged.
He taught us that within this love there is ultimate justice and judgement.
He taught us that what we do to others we do to him… ouch 😣. Imagine the joy and the sorrow of that! Everything that happens on earth arrives into the heart of God.
He taught us that mercy costs, that forgiving an offense and embracing an offender is painful 😓. On a universal scale he illustrated this on the Cross.
Every time God forgives, the struggle and the suffering of the Cross continues… until the end of time.
Every sin creates a piece of hell on earth.
Every time there’s love – true love – the resurrection continues to happen on earth.
How much sin – offensive hurt – can a person endure before he turns? How much could you endure? Now apply the question to God.
For example, abortion alone – executed as a human right and which the majority have now decided is our choice – is horrendous suffering in the heart of God, beyond all human imagining.
Still, God remains gracious. It is grace beyond all human comprehension – a love so merciful that it astonishes even the angels – that prevents God turning, that prevents the partial and even the complete destruction of the earth 🌍.
At times it is Our Lady who is holding the line which is why she’s repeatedly asking for prayer and sacrifice – help me here! Sacrifice has a similar value to suffering in Heaven – provided each is freely offered.
The earth survives through the pure graciousness of God – but do not underestimate the cost.
When suffering comes our way we are given the opportunity to work intimately with God in the work of salvation, in sharing the burden of saving humankind.
When that suffering is borne or carried out of love for the Saviour – I want to help you Lord because I love you – we’re already well advanced in the communion of saints.
Sadly, for many it’s the deep connection with Jesus that’s missing when suffering comes our way and we’re left “like sheep without a shepherd…”