Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What To Do When Suffering

God works in mysterious ways. Adoro over at Adoro Te Devote is struggling with finishing a paper for her first theological course in graduate school on Pope John Paul II's Encyclical Salvifici Doloris, "The Christian Meaning of Suffering." Someone I know well is questioning why God allows suffering to exist in this world.

And I just picked up the other day a brochure down at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis entitled "What To Do When Suffering." Coincidentally, it was written by Jeff Cavins, who formerly was the host of "Life on the Rock" on EWTN and is now the Director of Religious Education at St Paul's parish in Ham Lake, north of the Twin Cities, and who tours the country with his immensely popular Bible History course, the Great Adventure Catholic Bible Timeline

The VA brochure has some great Bible quotes that might be useful for those of you who might be confronting suffering or know someone who is.

1. Understand that we have been called to participate in the redemption of the world: Colossians I:24; Romans 8:28

2. Entrust yourself to God: 1st Peter 4:19

3. United your will with the will of Christ through prayer: Matthew 26:39

4. Realize that Jesus will not allow you to go through something that you can't handle: 1st Corinthians 10:13

5. Embrace the suffering, conscious of the fact that God's grace is available, active, and effective: 2nd Corinthians 12:9

6. Go to Confession. Focus on eliminating sin, which weakens your relationship with Jesus: Hebrews 12:1

7. Participate at the Preparation of the Gifts at Mass. Offer up your suffering on the altar: Catechism of the Catholic Church 1350

8. Avoid illegitimate suffering. do not draw attention to yourself: Matthew 6:5-6

9. Think of others and offer your suffering for them: 1st Corinthians 1:6

10. Actively love by doing what is right according to your vocation: Catechism of the Catholic Church 518, 1604; 1st Corinthians 9:12

11. Pray the Rosary - Walk the Passion of Christ with Our Lady

12. Study the Saints: Catechism of the Catholic Church313, 828, 1195

13. Rejoice that you can share in the redemption of the world: 1st Peter 4:13

14. Keep an eternal perspective: Ecclesiastes 3:11; Matthew 6:19-20; Romans 8:17

15: Trust God for the fruit of your suffering: 1st Corinthians 3:7-8; Hebrews 11:26

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