Suffering is loving PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 February 2017 12:04

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WE need to discover and appreciate the link between suffering and loving. The two need not go against each other. In fact, they have to go together if we want our suffering to be meaningful and fruitful. And we have a way to do that.

By uniting our suffering with the passion and death of Christ on the cross, the vital link between suffering and loving is established. The sting of suffering and death is removed, and the guarantee of our resurrection and our victory over death, sin and all forms of evil that cause us suffering is made.

We just have to learn to be sport about our unavoidable condition of suffering in this life and adapt the proper attitude and reactions that should be inspired by our Christian faith. We have to educate our senses, feelings and emotions according to the indications of our faith and the recourse to the sacraments. By developing a life of authentic piety, we can hack it.

In this, we should follow the example of Christ described in St. Peter’s first letter. That is why it is always worthwhile to develop the habit of meditating on the passion and death of Christ so we can have some clear ideas about the meaning, reason and purpose of suffering.

In that way, we would be properly motivated in our suffering and would in fact look forward to it rather than run away from it, just as Christ looked forward to his passion and death and did not run away from it.

“Christ also suffered for you,” St. Peter said, “leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin. No guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return. When he suffered, he did not threaten, but he trusted to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (2,21-24)

If we would have the mind of Christ in our suffering, for sure we can manage to have peace of mind and even joy, knowing that our suffering will always produce some good fruits not only for us but also for the others. We can manage to stay away from self-pity and anxiety that can do a lot of harm on our mental health, not to mention our spiritual health.

It is important that we see in suffering the very act of loving, because we convert suffering into an expression of our obedience to the will of God who allows us to suffer. Let’s remember that nothing happens in our life, including our suffering, that is not at least allowed by God in his providence. And if he allowed it to happen, it’s because there’s a greater good that can be derived from it.

Let us break loose from the fear of suffering. Rather, we should feel privileged when some suffering comes for it is a clear occasion for us to show our love for God and for others.