By Alec Cassel, DSW Service Year Volunteer 2018- 19
Everyone has or will experience some type of suffering in their lives. This could be from losing a loved one, a mental illness, going through trauma, etc. For us Christians, it always brings a challenge to our faith as to why we feel the way that we do. However, when you look at Christianity, you cannot leave out suffering. It goes hand in hand.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you” 1 Peter 4:12
Suffering can actually be a blessing in our lives if we take the Catholic theme, Suffering with Christ. Jesus went through one of the most painful deaths anyone could go through and he was innocent too. He didn’t want to go through it but he knew it was part of God’s plan. All of our suffering and pain is also in God’s plan. It sounds mean when you first think of it but every pain and suffering we overcome, makes us more the person God intended us to be. God did not want his only son to suffer and die on the cross but he was created to make that great sacrifice for us.
“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
The Catholic Church has always emphasized community. Although Jesus died for all of our sins, we still are called to share in his passion. We each do this in our unique ways but taking on our own battles and supporting each other through the dark times. We bring our suffering, pain, and struggles to the foot of the cross where Jesus has already won the war in the end. We already know the end result so our struggles are only temporary for what is to come.
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.  Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort” 2 Corinthians 1:5-7
Basically, God tells us that everything happens for a reason and is all part of this master plan that he has for us. We need to let go of what we want for ourselves and determine what it is that God wants from us. We must also take the time to thank God for all of our blessings and all of sufferings as well. Anyone of us may be suffering right now but when the time comes, we will all be sharing the greatest gift, and that is salvation with God.