How do I get God to stop punishing me?


#1

I’ve gone through lots of terrible things in life and wonder how to survive until the afterlife. How do I get God to stop punishing me?


#2

Although not to in any way dismiss the unique sufferings you have experienced, it is an unfortunate part of life that every person will experience suffering. In addition to praying for the grace to accept these sufferings with courage and patience, the only way for us to mitigate these sufferings in this life is to alter our perspective. Instead of considering them to be punishments from God, try to see them as invitations from God to help him carry his cross to Calvary as did Simon of Cyrene (cf. Luke 23:26). Offer to God the sufferings you endure in union with Christ’s own suffering so that God may use the graces merited for the salvation of sinners. Consider this advice from St. Francis De Sales:

The everlasting God has in his wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that he now presents to you as a gift from his inmost heart. This cross he now sends you he has considered with his all-knowing eyes, understood with his divine mind, tested with his wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with his own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with his holy name, anointed it with his consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.

Recommended reading:

The Problem of Suffering Reconsidered by Peter Kreeft (article)
Why Bad Things Happen to a Good God by Fr. John Dowling (article)
Did Christ Have to Suffer? by Paul Thigpen (article)

Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis De Sales (book)
Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux (book)
Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft (book)
The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis (book)


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