"Offer it up?"


Hey everybody!

I was reading in another post someone mentioned to “put a pebble in your shoe and offer it up?”

Well, I was walking my dogs today and had some pebbles in my shoe! I said to God, “Offer these up for my Catholic answer forum friends.”

Now, can someone please explain to me what one has to do with the other? Is this some form of self abuse?

Thank you people!


There’s a fine line between self abuse and self-sacrifice. Many of the saints willingly suffered pain, some of it self inflicted, as a sin offering for themselves or for others or in union with Christ. This is considered heroic self sacrifice.

Someone who is self abusive has no such intention and may do so out of some perverted attraction to pain or injury. One is selfish, the other is not.


So I can put a pebble in my shoe, feel the pain, and…what it spirtually do? That’s what I am not understanding.


When you are having a bad day, are in physical pain, don’t want to do something you know have to, feel like you are the most unlucky person in the world, etc. thats when you “offer it up”. You can offer the pain up for someone you know is worse-off than you, or the souls in purgatory! That’s what I do and I feel loads better about myself, and thank God for any pain I feel.:slight_smile:


Yes, someone once said not to waste a single ounce of suffering.

Suffering makes way for greater good. The suffering we endure here on earth can be offered to God for sacrifice.


So it would be okay for me to do something like that-a pebble in the shoe or something, and “offer it up” for someone who asked for a prayer request (I do pray as well, or course) But could I offer it up for John Doe’s request in the prayer forums?


Yes you could.

You ask ‘what does one have to do with the other’. Might as well ask ‘what does the suffering and crucifixion of a man who lived in Israel 2,000 years ago have to do with any of us today’.

See, since we are the Body of Christ in a very real sense, the sufferings that we consciously offer to God become His sufferings, and have some of the merit that His sufferings did.

Paul makes the link explicit - ‘I rejoice in my sufferings, that I complete in my flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ’. What is lacking in His sufferings? The only lack is the lack when we, His members, fail to unite ours with them to apply them today!

It’s rather like the Eucharist is celebrated again and again in every era.


totally! the saints did that all the time:cool:


St Rose of Lima used to have a nail or two in a hat or scarf that she wore around her head. She also slept on a bed with rocks or sharp objects (until her mother found out about it.) She and some other saints were very much into self mortification. They added their sufferings to the suffering of Christ for the salvation of souls and the expiation of sins. Sometimes she did overdo it, and needed to be ordered to restrain herself otherwise she might do herself serious bodily harm. There is a line where it may become self mutilation, which is wrong.

We are encouraged to do the same, both for our own sins and for the sins of others. We can either suffer here on earth or we can do so in Purgatory. It is much tougher to do so in Purgatory. When asked about suffering, Padre Pio said, salvation is always paid for with the same coin.

Self mortification is totally misunderstood by non-Catholics especially the public media. It is often shown as some nutcase fanatics abusing themselves. It is ridiculed and mocked, but along with prayer, it is the self sacrifice that helps saves souls from eternal damnation or suffering in Purgatory.


Thank you so much everyone.


I really regret that I didn’t understand this earlier. I have let a lot of suffering go to waste! It would have been a great feeling that good could have come from it.

On the other end… is there anyway you should feel guilty if you enjoy getting into a comfy bed? I know this sounds silly, I just need it confirmed by someone else so I stop feeling that way every night.


You can still offer it up, even though it’s in the past. There’s no rule that you have to offer suffering immediately.


I always feel a bit guilty that I have been blessed in so many ways. I say a liitle prayer for folks less fortunate, and I make a point to be as charitable as I possibly can be.

Sometimes, I wonder why God has been so gracious to me while some folks suffer through so much or have to do without. There have been times long ago, when I felt the opposite. I am especially thankful for all God’s blessing, I hope I can be equally thankful if misfortune comes my way.

I had a heart attack a few years back, so I know it can all be taken away in an instant. My problems are miniscule compared to a lot of others, so I try not to complain about anything, but I try to recognize my blessings and thank the Lord every day.


Thanks Kay Cee, that’s good news.


I’d love to get more information on this, are there any websites, books, pamphlets, etc. that can help me learn more about this?


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