Searching for the silver lining within suffering is one mental exercise with few volunteers. A person in pain may be tempted to ask “Why God? Why?” or ”Am I being punished for my past mistakes?” While these are, of course, understandably human inquiries, anger and bitterness often follow. It seems inconsistent with a God of Love.
Many people are unacquainted with the concept of redemptive suffering – where aligning one’s suffering with the Passion of Christ can work miracles in the spiritual realm. Paul, the Apostle, taught redemptive suffering in the New Testament of Book of Colossians when he wrote:
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” [Colossians 1:24]
While Jesus’ death on the cross was entirely sufficient to redeem sinful man, God gives us the opportunity to align our own sufferings with his for the good of others. Holy Christians like Saint Faustina and Saint Padre Pio participated in this spiritual practice, and Christians today can do the same. While we may never fully understand why a God of Love allows his loved ones to suffer, we can always find purpose in that same suffering when we align it with the Passion of Christ.
“Dear Jesus, please help me to join my own pain with yours to bring more people into the Kingdom of God. Help me to see your silver threads woven throughout the fabric of my suffering.