Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Age Old Question of Suffering

The question of suffering is a question that many people throughout the history of the world have pondered with themselves, their friends and family and with God. I listened to a couple callers this morning on the radio discuss this. I don't suppose that any of us will have an answer to this mystery until, God willing, we are with him in heaven one day.

Suffering usually appears to us as a bad thing in our life. It often is just that. It is always heartbreaking to know some one who is suffering from physical, emotional, or spiritual matters. Although sometimes we bring about suffering in our own lives by the choices we make, we are always moved and affected mostly by the suffering that innocent people, especially children experience.

Why does God permit this suffering to occur? We will one day find out, I'm sure. It has always been comforting to me when I have suffered or know someone who is suffering to keep in mind of the largest suffering that has occurred. A suffering that should not have had to happen. A suffering that puts all other suffering, no matter how big or small, no matter how close or far, in proper perspective. At least as far as my mind can comprehend. The greatest suffering was the suffering of God, himself. The physical suffering that God the Son endured for me and you, and the spiritual suffering that God the Father surely endured by the suffering of his only Son, and the emotional suffering Christ's blessed Mother went through. All to pay the price for our salvation and eternal happiness. When I think of Christ suffering during his passion and crucifixion, when I remember the blood that he shed, and when I realize that he did that for ME....I am truly humbled. I am so grateful that God has invited me, and that by his grace, I am able to take Christ's body, blood, soul and divinity into me at least each Sunday. What a amazing gift that he gave to us through his Church. Many people think that going to church for an hour each week is suffering. When one really realizes that God is waiting and calling for us to visit, how can we resist? I pray that I will never, ever, again feel that going to church is a chore. It is, instead the greatest gift outside of entering heaven.

I have know family and friends who have suffered. I often hear that although God does permit suffering, that always, Good will eventually come from that suffering, although it is almost always difficult to understand that and/or to see the good. One example of a close friend who was suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease, and the good that came from that suffering. Several years ago, this new friend of mine was indeed suffering, and to my knowledge was in a very bad situation. I prayed every day for a miracle, and I knelt before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for nearly a month straight, at the little chapel at St. Joseph's, praying for this miracle and healing. After, what I believe was God's answer to my prayers, my faith and return whole heartedly to the Church was in full swing. Not only was my soul brought back to God, I also know of a couple others who have been touched and inspired by this true life changing story. I have never told that friend of my special prayers, however, she may find out some day. And of course the suffering that my son's mother experienced, brought the most wonderful earthly gift to my life.

No comments: