The Apostolate of the Suffering

“Human suffering is a mystery. Sooner or later, all families experience it in the midst of life. It is either physical, psychological or spiritual. It always restrains our activities, it often limits our autonomy, and it sometimes seems to limit our dignity. When it lasts to long and intensifies, some would think of ending life, which can appear to be a mere burden. Suicide, euthanasia and assisted suicide can then become attractive exit doors. Yet Christians still maintain that life, daily life, with its joys and its sorrows is a gift from God, given with love and kindness.” A quote from Pope John Paul II.

Suffering can seem mysterious, even useless. But I would suppose that gold being tried in the fire might think the same. Things are often considered useless until a use is found for them. Some territory in the American West was considered worse than useless, barren and deserted. Then oil was found. More importantly a USE for oil was found. Suffering, I think, can be like that. In finding a use its value becomes obvious.

Whats the use? Well, taken by itself perhaps very little. It can be said, and with personal examples galore to back up the statement, that suffering can, if we’re willing, bring out the best in the person. More of that gold tried in the fire. But is there anything more than use at the personal level? Yes, there is. If suffering is of no worth beyond the individual then of what value to me was the Passion of the Christ? And, being God-Man, of what practical use was it to Him? No, suffering goes beyond the individual and Jesus proved that by applying His sacrifice, His suffering and even His death to me. And by that suffering and death, by making a way for me to be joined to Him even as I was created to be, He has cleared a path for me. Being at one with Him via His suffering for me I can now join, or add, my suffering to His. And that joining gives it, my suffering, inestimable worth. Salvation of humankind becomes, by His good pleasure and according to His will, a joint effort. Even as the priest, in offering up the Mass, partakes in Calvary, I may, by offering up my own suffering along with His, do the same.

There is no useless suffering. Only unused suffering.

For anyone interested in offering up their sufferings I would invite you to contact the following Apostolate. It is fully approved by the Church, and from a personal perspective I have been a member now for about three years and my part in it, small as it is, has proven a very great blessing.

Apostolate of the Suffering

Mary Farm

1915 Ware St.

Palmer, MA 01069-9560

From “The Anchor”, the Apostolate of the Sufferings quarterly newsletter: “No, suffering is not useless. And it does not diminish human dignity. Human dignity depends neither on the quality of our lives nor on our autonomy. It finds its source in God, who created us in his image and likeness and who calls each one of us to live and to die in the manner of Christ – to bring the world back to Him.”

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Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm  Comments Off on The Apostolate of the Suffering