I hear the term “offer it up” often, in response to me or someone else and don’t really understand what that means. Does it mean to pray about it? Can someone explain?
It means to give to God all our problems, pains, and heartaches–to nail them to the cross with the sacrifice of Christ, so to speak, especially as a prayer for the needs of others, such the poor souls in purgatory and those suffering spiritually and physically.
Faith1960 asks a good question; one that I have also wondered about. Could you give an example, please?
“Offering it Up”
Informally, we “offer it up” by simply asking God in our own words to use a suffering as it occurs; we often do this for specific intentions (ex., “Use this pain, Lord, for the salvation of my brother…”).
It’s quite a discipline to react to suffering this way! In mental or physical pain? Drop something on your toe? Putting up with a co-worker who is making your life a living Hell? Enduring the constant ache of arthritis? Standing in line at the grocery and hating every minute of it? Spill the milk? Accept these things in peace, and ask God to use them for the good of the Church or for a more specific intention close to your heart. This isn’t easy to do (and I in no way claim to be good at it), but it does make the suffering more meaningful and less – well, less insufferable!
You’ll find that it is not uncommon to hear one Catholic tell another who is suffering to “offer it up” as a way of dealing with his suffering. It should be remembered, though, that while it is most definitely good to tell someone to “offer it up,” it is also easy – and that we are called, too, to comfort those who are suffering, to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to care for the sick, etc. Telling someone to offer it up without also helping him to deal with the temporal and emotional effects of whatever they are going through is not the fully Christian thing to do. Even Our Lord was helped while carrying His Cross: St. Veronica wiped the sweat and Blood from His Holy Face, and St. Simon of Cyrene helped Him bear the Cross itself.
taken from extracts www.fisheaters.com/offeringitup.html -
Thanks, and that is a pretty cool website!
I emailed the Pope and he has answered you…
Here is from Spes Salvi:
- I would like to add here another brief comment with some relevance for everyday living. There used to be a form of devotion—perhaps less practised today but quite widespread not long ago—that included the idea of “offering up” the minor daily hardships that continually strike at us like irritating “jabs”, thereby giving them a meaning. Of course, there were some exaggerations and perhaps unhealthy applications of this devotion, but we need to ask ourselves whether there may not after all have been something essential and helpful contained within it. What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ’s great “com-passion” so that they somehow became part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race. In this way, even the small inconveniences of daily life could acquire meaning and contribute to the economy of good and of human love. Maybe we should consider whether it might be judicious to revive this practice ourselves. --Pope Benedict XVI
One of the biggest wastes of our time is the waste of suffering. We suffer and neglect to “offer it up” and, therefore, it goes wasted/unused.
We used to have a group of men and women (mostly men) in my home town who were on a “recall list.” Whenever some conversion, healing, etc., was needed, the recall list was activated and everyone was called to prayer…at 3am in the morning! One of the guys even owned a school bus and would pass by and pick up those who didn’t want to drive themselves. We prayed for one hour, usually kneeling on the hard marble floor, for whatever intention was needed. Because there was suffering (lack of sleep, pain from kneeling, etc.), many fruits came about from our prayer. Many people were converted (St. Augustine said that the conversion of a soul is a greater miracle than the creation of the world, because when God created the world, He created it from nothing, and this nothing from which He created it did not resist Him like we do.), many were healed, etc. It was effective! Then, one bright soul whined that it was “too hard” to get up that early, etc., and suggested that we meet at a more convenient hour. So, like sheep, we all went along. The fruits stopped, and the group fell apart. There wasn’t the sacrifice as before.
Makes sense. I noticed that you said “used to have.” St. Augustine made sense too! Thank you my Catholic brothers and sisters. I just had to express the love I have for you. I learn so much in these forums. There is a lot of tangential(get it?) material also, but for the most part, a learning experience.
I echo that sentiment.
“Offer it up” means to assume the attitude of Paul in Colossians 1:24
And this is why I love CAF! I have also heard this and wondered what it meant. Thanks for asking this question Faith1960 and thanks to tbcrawford and all others for their responses.
No need to thank me, I was just a-wonderin’.
:rotfl: Thanks, Bookcat!
The seers at Fatima used to say these prayers as a means of “offering up” their sufferings:
O my Jesus, it is for love of you
and in reparation for the
offences committed against
the Immaculate Heart of Mary
and for the conversion of poor sinners.
O My Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee,
for the conversion of sinners,
and in reparation for the sins and offences
committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
[Said when offering up personal sacrifices,
sufferings and penance.]
from this website
Awesome references, thank you.
I’m a “soon to be convert” from presbyterian faith. (will be in RCIA in sept.)
I have been practicing catholic faith for past few month such as attending mass, adoration chapel, daily rosary, reading/listening to EWTN and related info sources.
I am amazed at how much i’ve been missing out as protestant.
Past few days I’ve been contemplating the issue of “offering it up”. I have “LOFTY” goal of making every breath count, by “Trying” to pray the rosary and/or “offering up” any issues that might come up during the day…try to use up as many breath I take. [operative word: LOFTY, Trying;)]
As Scoobyshme said:
So much of our daily life, hours, mins are wasted. So much sufferings in the world…unused.
Many more graces, mercy could have been granted…to those most in need.
Thank you all for good answers… I didn’t have clear idea how “offering up” our little drops can be any of use.