Offering up our sufferings to God?

I have very often heard people say something like this: “I’m sick, but I bear it by offering up my sufferings to God”. How exactly do you do that? Also, can you offer up your sufferings with a certain person in mind? For example, can you say: “I’m offering up my headache for Samantha?” How does the Lord react to that?

Thank you!


Sure you can offer your suffering for a specific person just like you offer a prayer for them. You already know how. Just tell the Lord it is for Mr. X and that is that.

God is our Father who loves us all. We know that from the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. What father would not like to see his children taking care of each other and caring about each other? Our Heavenly Father is the model for all regular fathers, so I think it is easy to see how He would be pleased by your intention to offer suffering or prayers for someone else. You can also make an offering in reparation for your sins and the sins of the whole world like it says in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I personally think that if the devil were bothering someone and that person offered their suffering to God for good intentions that it would make the devil want to leave them alone!

I used to say conditionally: God, if my acceptance of this suffering brings merit, than please help this and this.

A spritual director once taught me that you could also offer temptations and vices. Offer the temptation to God, “Lord, I offer this temptation to you in hope you will use this to make me a stronger man. I offer this to you that you may strengthen me in this moment of weakness.” It works it helped me to stop smoking and I have shared this with people who have struggled with other temptations.
I hope this helps. God bless,

You can your suffering to Mary as well, and tell her that you relinquish all rights to any merit you gained through acceptance of suffering, obedience in the face of temptation, practice of virtue, etc. As the Mediatrix of Grace, Mary will distribute that merit it where needed most.

In virtue of our baptism, we may apply the satisfactory value of our good works to whomever we choose, either to ourselves or to outhers. But through the consecration, we surrender this right to Mary.
- Jason M. Brunelle, Homiletics and Pastoral Review, Oct 2010
It’s an interesting subject, suffering as redemptive for other members of the Body of Christ. In the face of complaints and questions about the struggles of life, I don’t hear it spoken of much either through formally through homilies and catechesis or informally in conversation. I’m glad someone is asking about it. Is it a doctrine that we have lost to a certain extent?


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