I’m a believer in what the Church calls “redemptive suffering.” St. Paul says, “This is a wicked generation and your lives should redeem it” (Eph. 5:16). He wasn’t saying that Jesus’ life and suffering needed our redemption, but he was saying that we need to cooperate with Jesus — to unite our suffering with His.
I’ve been sick all my life. I don’t remember a day I wasn’t sick with something. And I think that Our Dear Lord’s hand was on me. I’ve had cross after cross from the earliest time I can remember. But it kept me dependent on the Lord to do whatever He asked me to do. The pain was a safety for me because I could never give myself credit for any accomplishment. It’s a protection; it’s like a shield for me.
I think that’s true of everybody; they just don’t see it or they’re not told about it. There’s an obvious grace to being treated by the Father as He treated His Son for our sanctification and for the sanctification of other souls. We’re so interested today in helping people and social work, why don’t we help them to offer their pain and suffering up to God?
When we can’t alleviate their pain, we need to give them a spiritual answer that strengthens them and teaches them that their pain and suffering is not only important, but also necessary to the world.
- Mother Angelica
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