I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your recent article on suffering.
I have been in chronic pain since I was in my 20s, and am nearly incapacitated now (I am 62) because of rheumatoid arthritis. The pain I experience on a daily basis is nearly indescribable.
I have come to believe that I am blessed to be able to draw closer to our Lord through His Passion. I turned my back on the Church while I was young, but had an extraordinary experience in St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C. about six years ago, after which I knew that it was time for me to return.
Through Christ and the sacraments of His Church I have found strength and serenity that I never knew I had in the face of intractable pain. Each day I offer my own suffering up to Christ, reflecting on how He must have suffered.
I often remind myself, when I start to feel whiny, of the Book of Job, wherein God asks “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Your friend is right.
God love you, dear. One of the blessings of my line of work is that it so frequently brings me into contact with people who live such amazingly beautiful and holy lives. Thank you for sharing yours with me for a bit! May God continue to guide you as you share the Cross of Christ crucified so generously! And may you indeed discover one day the truth Paul told us:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ¶ For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God;* ¶ for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; ¶ because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. ¶ We know that the whole creation has been groaning with labor pains together until now; ¶ and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. ¶ For in this hope we were saved. (Ro 8:18–24).