1.29.2008

Suffering and Redemption


Why does God allow suffering to be part of our lives? When we hear the word "suffering", we hear it in negative terms. It is difficult to experience and possibly more difficult to watch another go through it. Often we want to end it on our say so.

However, it should be comforting to reflect upon the fact that God Himself entered into human suffering through the Incarnate Son who suffered and died so that we could overcome death. We must remember that both suffering and death came into the world with our first parents and their sin. Yet, because of the Son's obedience to the Will of God in these afflictions, we are given redemption.

In baptism we are made one with Christ and join in His suffering on the Cross and thereby assist in the work of Salvation for the whole world. The suffering that we experience brings a grace-filled opportunity to offer prayer for oneself, our loved ones, and our world-wide family. Jesus is with us in our suffering, because we have and are sharing in His.

For those whose faith is little or lost completely, suffering never seems to make sense. Some may even begin contemplating suicide. Why should one endure pain and suffering when death is the end of all meaning and purpose? The immorality of harming the great good of human life should be apparent even to those without faith. Sacred Scripture speaks directly against intending one's death, especially to end suffering. It is with deep faith in Jesus Christ that one can learn to offer up their pain for others -- moving from selfishness to love.