Reflection 290: Bodily Sufferings Redeemed


Many people enjoy excellent health while others do not.  Some experience great physical discomfort in life due to infirmity or old age.  Though many look for ways to alleviate this physical discomfort, it must be said that these pains offer an opportunity for grace.  First, much grace is won in the life of the person suffering when that suffering is freely embraced.  Grace can also be won for the lives of others when physical suffering is offered as a prayer for their good.  The way this grace is won is not so much by the suffering itself; rather, it is won through the free choice to embrace that suffering as a sacrifice.  This denial of one’s own will becomes an open door to the storehouse of Mercy in Heaven.  God smiles upon these physical sacrifices and especially upon the free choice of their embrace.  Do not hesitate to allow your physical pains and discomfort to be turned into the Mercy of God for you and for others (See Diary #1428).

Do you have physical pain or discomfort in your life?  If so, it is normal to look for ways to alleviate it.  But reflect upon this deep spiritual truth that your suffering can be transformed into grace.  If you doubt this, just look at the Cross.  The physical pain our Lord endured may not have matched His interior suffering, but it was part of His perfect Will to offer His physical pain to the Father for the redemption of the world.  Do not doubt the value of your free embrace of every pain and discomfort.  Give it to God and you will be blessed as others are blessed through this offering.

Lord, I do offer to You, this day, all the pain and discomfort I feel now and will feel in the future.  Help me to embrace this suffering with a free embrace.  I choose it, dear Lord, and make it my offering to You so that You can transform it into Your Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured Image: Painting of Therese de Lisieux on her deathbed, via Wikimedia Commons