Reflection 152: The Mystery of the Grace of Suffering

Human suffering is one of the greatest mysteries of life.  The Diary of Saint Faustina, as well as the whole spiritual tradition of our faith, reveals much about this profound mystery of suffering.  First, from a purely secular point of view, suffering is far from desirable.  In fact, it is typically avoided at all costs and seen as the greatest of tragedies.  However, from a Christian perspective, suffering itself has been transformed by Christ and made the greatest instrument of grace ever known.  It was through His intense suffering on the Cross that the salvation of the world came about.  And by freely embracing all suffering, He made it the means and source of all grace.  By so doing, Jesus also invites us to see our sufferings as an opportunity for grace.  By embracing it, uniting it to His Cross, and offering it to the Father, our suffering is also able to take on infinite value and become a channel of the Mercy of God.  Suffering, freely embraced by a Christian, must become a sign of one’s closeness to Christ and a path to holiness (See Diary #774).

Suffering can be very difficult and yet unavoidable most often in life.  Rather than run from it, reflect, today, upon the fact that God is able to use your suffering for good.  This is a mysterious calling and requires the greatest of faith and trust.  But when entered into, you will discover that the power of God overshadows and transforms even that which is most painful in life.

Lord, help me to entrust to You all suffering.  Help me to have hope in You and to fix my gaze upon Your Cross during the most troubled times of life.  Use me Lord, and use my suffering as a source of my holiness and for the upbuilding of Your Church in holiness.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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