Some of you may be looking at the title of my post and thinking, “has she gone off her rocker?” Well, not quite yet anyway.. I wanted to talk about suffering and the way most of us look at it..Most people, myself included up until a few years ago looked at suffering as a useless and horrible part of life…Suffering is something we all want and try to avoid but what happens when you can’t do either? How do you deal with that fact? At some point in order not to “go off our rockers” we need to figure out a way to live with our suffering and try and see if it does have a part to play in life and for me, it’s taken twenty years and I’ve been given some answers to all my questions about my daily suffering.
As most of you know I am a Catholic Christian and my faith is everything to me. I also pray a lot throughout the day and each night. You also may or may not know that I have suffered with illness for the last twenty years which includes not feeling well on a daily basis, pain that is better or worse depending on the day but you learn to push through it all. Then there are the days and nights where I can be physically feeling so badly and in so much pain I don’t know if I’ll make it to the next day. It’s on those kind of days and nights God gave me the blessing of insight and knowledge about my pain and sickness.
I have learned to use it and use it for the good of others. When my pain and sickness feels unbearable I offer it to the Lord through the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the good of those here on earth that I love, for an end to abortion, for the help of Christians around the world being tortured, for the souls in purgatory, for the sick, the poor etc. and in this I have learned that as crazy as you may think this sounds, our suffering can be a gift. Now I’m sure you’re scratching your head saying to yourself, “how can that be? now I know she’s lost it”..
Look at it this way.. Most people, notice I said most not all. Most people who are perfectly healthy are usually concerned with all the things that are happening in their lives, where they want to be, what they want to get, the things they want to do etc. When we are in a happy state in life we rarely think of those who are not. It’s just human nature. We have become such a busy society that unless something forces us to slow down and see the world around us we don’t stop. We keep rushing through life like bulls in a china shop never seeing those in need here on earth and those no longer with us.
When you are chronically ill you have to stop. You aren’t given much of a choice. It is then that I began to ask and learn about suffering and what it all means and why does it even exist. What I learned is that God allows us to suffer at times and all suffering has use and meaning. This is why it is a gift. If we take that suffering and offer it back to our Lord for the good of others it doesn’t go to waste. God doesn’t waste anything not even our pain.
It is an absolute gift and blessing to be able to pray for others and their needs. It is a gift and a blessing to pray for those holy souls still in purgatory (if you’re not Catholic you probably don’t believe in purgatory but I can tell you it’s a real place). So even though I do not wish to suffer, I do not welcome sickness and pain but since I have both I thank God for them because had I not had either I would have never taken the time out of my daily life to think of others before myself. And I thank God for giving me the blessing of understanding these things. I thank Him for the blessing of being able to offer my suffering for others because He has made it known to my heart that suffering while it may look like it is in vain it is infact just the opposite. He gives me the gift to give to others who may not be able to pray for themselves. He gives me the gift to be able to join my prayers through my suffering to those of His Saints and Angels.
So yes, you can have happiness and joy in the midst of suffering and pain and yes, your suffering is useful and yes your suffering can be a gift.