Is there a benefit to suffering? What’s the point? Today, Jeff explains the purpose of suffering and shares some ways we can use it to not only grow closer to Christ, but to help our loved ones do the same.
Snippet of the Show
“Suffering is almost inseparable from man’s earthly existence.” – St. Pope John Paul II (Salvifici Doloris)
“Suffering overwhelms you because you take it like a coward. Meet it bravely, with a Christian spirit: and you will regard it as a treasure.” – St. Josemaria Escriva
Rejoicing in Suffering (Paul’s Interest in the Colossians)
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” – Colossians 1:24
Two Different Kinds of Suffering
- Physical suffering: when the body is hurting
- Moral suffering: when the soul hurts
Different Types of Suffering (according to St. Pope John Paul II)
- Temporal suffering
- Definitive suffering: St. Pope John Paul II says,
“Man perishes when he loses ‘eternal life.’ The opposite of salvation is not , therefore, only temporal suffering, and kind of suffering, but the definitive suffering: the loss of eternal life, being rejected by God – damnation. The only-begotten Son was given to humanity primarily to protect man against this definitive evil and against definitive suffering.” – Salvifici Doloris 14
“But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” – Luke 24:16
“Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” – Hebrews 5:8
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” – 2 Corinthians 1:5
The Cross and Self-Denial
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” – Matthew 16:24-26
“In the cross of Christ, not only is the redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed” – Salvifici Doloris 19
“It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls” – Salvifici Doloris 27
God’s Grace is Sufficient for Us
“but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
“and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:17-18
Suck It Up, and Offer It Up
“The springs of divine power gush forth precisely in the midst of human weakness. Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserved in their own sufferings of very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world’s redemption and can share this treasure with others” – Salvifici Doloris 27
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
“For what credit is it, if when you do wrong and are beaten for it you take it patiently? But if when you do right and suffer for it you take it patiently, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, 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.” – 1 Peter 2:20-23
“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.” – 1 Peter 4:19
“Down through the centuries and generations it has been seen that in suffering there is concealed a particular power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ, a special grace” – Salvifici Doloris 26
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Meet Your Host: Jeff Cavins
Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. Jeff then received his MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Since then, he has become a leading Catholic evangelist and author.
Jeff created The Bible Timeline learning system, which revolutionized Catholic Bible Study for millions of Catholics. Since its introduction, Jeff has developed The Great Adventure series of Bible studies to help people better understand Sacred Scripture and its meaning for their lives.
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