Redemptive suffering and sin

When we unite our sufferings with Jesus and offer them up, is this act less efficacious if our sufferings are the result of our sins? I feel that these sufferings are somehow “tainted” because we have brought them on ourselves, and offering them would have less value than say, if we were being persecuted or slandered.


I think of sufferings as something not related to sin nor in reparation for sin. Rather, a suffering might be my choice to choose to give my money to a worthy cause rather than to go on a vacation or something as simple as choosing to fast even when not required.

I also think that people suffering due to medical conditions, such as mental illness, are an axample of sufferings that can be presented to our Lord.

However, if you want to consider jail being a suffering for sin, then that might be partial atonement for sin but remember that atonement must be sincere and accompanied by deep sorrow and desire to right the wrong (vs. just serving time).

Everything we do, we do for God. Offer up prayers, praise, intentions, whatever. It is an offering and God will figure out what to do with it. Offering up to sin for God, that’s probably not a good thing but offering up our repentance and sorrow FOR sinning, that might be considered a worthy offering. God doesn’t want us to sin or to suffer but we should be ever mindful of God so ALL our actions honor Him.

The way I understand Catholic theology, every suffering we experience can be offered up and turned into something good by the grace of God. Is this not so?

I do not quite understand what you are saying is not a good thing here.

I guess my point is WHAT you are offering is just as important as the intent of your offering. If a person mistakenly believes ANYTHING he/she does can be an offering, then they might believe infidelity can be a suitable offering. The repentance, remorse, and detesting of the infidelity may be a suitable offering but the intent would make a difference as well. If we make an offering because we wish to keep the sin hidden or don’t want to suffer damnation, perhaps we need to reflect on the intent of making an offering to God. Perhaps we need to make an offering because we love God and are remorseful for letting Him down. So, we shouldn’t offer up our sins so much as offer up our repentance and disgust for our sins. Does that make more sense?

Well, sort of… But I have never heard of actually offering up a sin. Just offering up any sufferings. I am talking about the situation where we love God, are sorry for our sins, have repented, confessed, and done our penance and atoned for them, and yet we suffer due to the residual effects of sin. I find that if I just suffer but don’t offer it up, this saps my spiritual strength and prevents me from serving God more fully. Whereas if I were to unite my sufferings with Jesus, I could receive the grace to move forward and better discern God’s will in my daily life.

Again, I’m not suggesting you offer up your sins. You and I are saying the same thing: we offer up our sufferings because of our sins because we love God so much and are sorry for turning away from Him.

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