Offer It Up: Finding Meaning in Suffering

Have you ever considered offering up your “less-than-ideal” days to your Heavenly Father? Jeff wants you to know that the suffering that you encounter in your life is not meaningless, and that our ability to unite our frustrations, pains, and hardships with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross makes all the difference in this world (and in the next)!

What is the meaning of “Offer It Up”?
  • It gives our suffering meaning.
 What Is Suffering?
  • It can be something big (cancer, broken bones…)
  • Sometimes its small – like not having an “ideal day.”
  • Jesus didn’t die for 55% of your life – but for all of your life.
  • This gives every day of our life meaning.
  •  If we cannot attach meaning to our suffering we can fall into despair.
  • If you can attach meaning to our suffering we can make it through anything.
  • If we can give meaning to our suffering it gives us the motivation to push through.
  • The meaning of our suffering is found in the suffering of Christ.
  • God suffered out of love for us with physical and moral suffering in temporal suffering.
The Types of Suffering
  • St John Paul II – Salvifici Doloris
  • He discusses the meaning of suffering.
  • There are two kinds of suffering:
    • Physical
      • Cold, broken leg, disease.
    • Moral Suffering
      • Suffering of the heart (we feel broken inside).
      • End of a marriage, loss of job, loss of a child.
How to Find Meaning in Our Suffering
  •  Col 1:24 – “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,” What could be lacking in the suffering of Christ?
    • St Augustine
    • What is lacking in the suffering of Christ is the participation of the mystical body of Christ which is the Church.
    • It is our contribution that is missing.
    • Nothing is lacking in the suffering of Christ but that you might come to know the love of God.
    • That you might come to know and taste and feel the love of God. He has made room in his suffering for you to participate in it.
    • By allowing us to suffer, God helps us grow closer to him and better understand him.


What Is the Relationship Between the Head and the Body (Christ and the Church)?
  •  The Television/American View:
    • “Jesus did it all.” – This is true
    • “Our job is to only receive the benefits”- This is not true.
  • The Biblical and Catholic view:
    • We share in the suffering
    • 1 Peter 4:13 – “13 But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
    • 1 Peter 4:13 – “19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.”
    • 2 Cor 1:5 – “5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
    • We are the Body of Christ
    • Yes, Jesus is the Shepard who redeemed us, but he allows us to share in it.
    • He died for our sins but we also die with him.
  • St. John Paul II – Salvifici Doloris
    • Paragraph 26: “For suffering cannot be transformed and changed by the grace from outside but from within and Christ through his own self that the suffering is very much present in every human suffering and can act from within that suffering by the powers of the spirit is consoling the spirit.”
    • Paragraph 27:” The springs of divine power gushed forth precisely in the midst of human weakness. Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserve in their own suffering a very special particle of the infinite treasury of the world’s redemption and can share this treasure with others.”

How Do We Unite Our Suffering with Christ’s?

  • If we are baptized we are in Christ.
  • If we are in Christ all things are new.
  • We need to offer up our suffering in union with Jesus’s suffering.
  • This makes our suffering new and gives it salvific power.
  • We can offer it up for our families.
  • Romans 8:17-18 – “17 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. 18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

More Great Resources from Jeff

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For an illustrated resource introducing God’s love story to children while helping them to understand how the Catholic Church is the body of Christ on Earth try The Great Adventure Storybook.

We’d Love to Hear from You

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1 Comment

  1. I identified with your story so much regarding offering your pain to God for your daughter in sense of I took extremrly sick due to doctor ordering too high dosage of medication. I literally didn’t vision any chance I would come through alive. No sooner my eyes opened I’d pass out again. Suddenly around the 3rd or 4th day my eyes opened and somehow my eyes caught hold of a crucifix I had up on my wall when the words silently came to mind “what am I worried about, look at what He has done for me?” I passed out again soon after. Finally when my eyes opened again my breathing had returned to normal. All symptoms I had experienced the past 3-4 days had now dissipated. I had told people after the experience that if it meant I had to go through that experience to offer it up for all that he has done for me then it was all worth it and yet despite telling people this I could never make sense of that time til listening to your program. Thanks so much for this program and helping me to view suffering in a new way.


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