Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Dan Shea

2/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Most people do not understand the sufferer's challenge.

When pain is not visible and the medical diagnosis is fraught with ambiguity, others do not relate.  Regardless, private suffering consumes one's very being each and every hour of the day.  Thus, the sufferer must take into account what Pope Paul VI said, "You are not alone, separated, abandoned or useless. You have been called by Christ and are his living and transparent image."

The Suffering Jesus

The Suffering Jesus

Highlights

By Dan Shea

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: suffering, pain, mystery, struggle, World Day of the Sick, Our Lady, holiness, Dan Shea


FLORIDA (Catholic Online) - "You may well be content to serve the Lord in illness, for when He calls people to suffer instead of working for Him, He is calling them to a higher state.  It is most fitting that we should carry the cross with Christ." -Saint John of Avila

Few know what it is like living day after day having to convince one's self that unrelenting suffering has a purpose.  Some suggest it saves souls while glorifying God knowing that "suffering that comes from God is best."  Yet that is hard to put your arms around when you are alone and no one understands the intensity of your pain, depression and loneliness.  When pain is not visible and the medical diagnosis is fraught with ambiguity, others do not relate.  Regardless, private suffering consumes one's very being each and every hour of the day.  Thus, the sufferer must take into account what Pope Paul VI said, "You are not alone, separated, abandoned or useless. You have been called by Christ and are his living and transparent image."

Occasionally, there are days when you suddenly get a break and everything and anything seems possible.  In one's resolve, you begin to think how lucky you are for having been provided for in our disability.  You are grateful for your family, friends, and doctors, who try to provide solutions and solace.  Mercifully, this sustains one for a time.  Then just as suddenly as relief appeared it disappears and with it goes the glimpse of hope that allowed you to believe the end was in sight.  Ominously, the process begins anew.  It is a constant struggle of faith, love, perseverance, acceptance, joy, and fleeting relief contrasted with anger, fear, hollow smiles, sorrow, and depression.

However through focused prayer and determination one might take the advice of the Venerable Fulton Sheen who said, "Think not that you could do more if you were well.what matters is not what.we are doing, but whether we are doing God's will."  Eventually, the sufferer may conclude he has been chosen to a ministry he would not have chosen for himself.  He now understands that suffering's purpose is redemption.  This bears out Fr. Richard John Neuhaus saying, "He allows us to have a share in His redeeming work, which can only be done through suffering."  Often suffering also includes the added burden of being misunderstood.  Most people do not understand the sufferer's challenge.

Emerson stated "It is a luxury to be understood."  For most people to understand without having experienced another's travail is nearly impossible.  The key to understanding anyone is genuine caring and similar experiences.  Still the common propensity is to detach from our fellow travelers and their woes.  Proper detachment frees men from caring about things of the world, to care for the people of the world.  Tragically, indifference frees men from both.

M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled, provides further evidence stating "The person who has evolved to the highest level of awareness, of spiritual power, will likely have no one in his or her circle of acquaintances with whom to share such depth of understanding."  Plainly, one's pain filled moccasins only fit their owner.  Accordingly, we must pray as Saint Francis, "O'Divine Master grant that I may not seek to be understood but to understand."

The 21st World Day of the Sick will be celebrated February 11 on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

--------

Dan Shea lives and writes from Florida. Long active in his parish and in the Right to Life movement, he has written two books Beyond Banter & Banalities and Breaking Father Down.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 23:20-23
20 'Look, I am sending an angel to precede you, to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 10-11
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 18:1-5, 10
1 At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Leger
October 2: Leger was raised at the court of King Clotaire II and by his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter