redemptive suffering?

can someone explain this to me? i’m a bit confused by it? how our suffering redeem us if Christ already suffered it all?

Here are some sites which give an understanding to our suffering and its value to ourselves and to others.

St. Gemma
stgemmagalgani.com/2011/03/st-gemmas-heroic-penances-sacrifices.html

Patience and suffering by Fr. Hardon
therealpresence.org/archives/God/God_035.htm

Catechism
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P4K.HTM old.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt2.shtml

Priestly comments on Redemptive suffering:
copiosa.org/suffering/suffering_redemptive.htm
copiosa.org/suffering/index.htm

“To Love and To Suffer” - The Science of the Saints
therealpresence.org/eucharst/pea/suffer.htm

How to bear suffering by Fr. O’Sullivan
catholic-pages.com/life/suffering.asp

Salvifici Doloris by JOHN PAUL II
vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_11021984_salvifici-doloris_en.html

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

Most simply, we can offer our sufferings in union with Christs for our own purification, that of others, or for the salvation of others, as well as healing. It is up to Christ how He will use our sufferings, but he does. Suffering is a difficult mystery to understand and too accept, but it does have meaning when put in the light of God’s love for us.

It is in our sufferings that we can become more like Him in all aspects of our lives. Not an easy task, and one that often goes against the grain if you will. No one likes to suffer, but we all do, and it’s benefits have meaning in Christ.

Jesus has united all men to himself.He has made it that your sufferings are his sufferings. So when you suffer you save the world, in union with him. Suffering in itself is of no value and is an evil that Jesus came to conquer. What is of value is that Jesus has made your sufferings his and when you suffer is used as the means of the rescue of all.

“The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption.” ( John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris)

Christ suffered to redeem the Church from sin. He suffered and died upon the Cross as an example for us to follow, therefore, we must suffer for the redemption of the Church also. Scripture says:
1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Suffering in the flesh expunges our sins.
1 Peter 4:1
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

This is why Scripture says that if we don’t suffer, we will not inherit the glory:
Romans 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

But our suffering in the flesh is also good for the redemption of the Church:
Colossians 1:24
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

The Catholic Church doesn’t question the Word of God. The Catholic Church simply obeys and teaches us to obey the Will of God. We are born to suffer in imitation of Christ, whether you like it or not, whether you understand it or not.

Sincerely,

De Maria

The concept of redemptive suffering is one that I also cannot wrap my head around. To suggest that suffering is a “good thing” strikes me as being pure nonsense.

I have no idea if this is true or not, but I read somewhere that Mother Teresa would sometimes withhold pain treatment from those in her care because she believed that their suffering was good for them. If true, that strikes me as being needlessly cruel.

One way to understand it is not to see a void between Christ and the members of the Church. Scripture tells us the Church is his body (Col 1:24, Eph 1:22-23). Christ suffers through the members. I recommend reviewing examples in the post by De Maria. To also show that our suffering is not something alien to Christ’s suffering, I would also add:Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings

Could you share where this is substantiated?

Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross in a universal way redeemed all men, yet for the merits of His suffering and death to be applied to individuals we have the Mass and our own redemptive suffering – the kind of suffering St. Paul speaks of in Col. 1:24. “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:” (emphasis mine)

I didn’t say it was substantiated. I said that I read it somewhere. And as I said in the part of my post that you cut out of your quote, I don’t know if it’s true or not. But since you seem to be curious, I found a few articles for you.

The Times of India, reporting on the controversial essay, wrote that the authors asserted Mother Teresa saw beauty in the downtrodden’s suffering and was far more willing to pray for them than provide practical medical care.

huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/mother-teresa-myth_n_2805697.html

On principal, strong painkillers were not even administered in severe cases as, according to Mother Teresa’s philosophy, it is “the most beautiful gift for a person that can participate in the suffering of Christ.” Well, the person suffering may beg to differ.

omgfacts.com/History/Mother-Teresa-denied-pain-killers-to-som/58083

Here’s another place where the topic was discussed:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=589876&page=2

The best explanation of redemptive suffering that I’ve read comes from the book: Poor, Therefore Rich by a Carthusian. pp. 22-27

Psalm 22 (21)
Psalm and Deliverance of the Just
To the leader: according to The Deer of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

I. The Passion
A. Moral Suffering

  1. Deserted by Yahweh
    (strophe)
    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but find no rest.

National motive of trust
(antistrophe)
Yet you are holy, entrhoned on the praises of Israel. In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

  1. Contempt of men
    (strophe)
    But I am a worm, and not human; scored by others, and espised by the people. All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads; 'Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver-" let him rescure the one in whom he delights.

Personal motive of trust
(antistrophe)
Yet it was you who took me from the womb, you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

B. Physical SUffering

  1. Relentlessness of enemies
    *(strophe) *
    Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

Agony
antistrophe
I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potshered, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; yo lay me in the dust of death.

  1. Triumph of enemies
  • (strophe)*
    For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feed have shrivelled; I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me; they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.

Ultimate hope: Yahweh
(antistrophe)
But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion!

II. Deliverance
Thanksgiving with all Israel
(strophe)
From the horns of wild oxen you have rescued me. I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel. For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.

The afflicted can count on the faithfulness of Yahweh
(antistrophe)
From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him. The poor shall eat and be satisified; those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live for ever!

Post-exilic addition:
The restoration of Israel is a lesson for the nations All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.

Pious addition:
Messianic perspective favouring the poor of Yahweh

To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.

** The Christological Meaning**
**
The messianc sense of the psalm is beyond question, even though it is always possible to debate whether it is literal or typological. The essential lesson that Israel drw from it is this: not only does Yahweh never forsake the Just who struggles with the impious, but the sufferings of the Just who is persecuted, because they provoke Yahweh to intervene in his favour, always hasten the coming of the reign of God in the world. Thus is discovered the providential, purifying and educative value of the trial and the redemptive virtue of suffering accepted and offered. The mysterious law of life springing from death in a fallen world is outlined. **

We not only have holy Mass and our own redemptive suffering for the application to individual souls of the merits of the redemption, but we also have the Blessed Virgin Mary and the other Sacraments. Much more powerful and important than our own co-redeeming – for the application of the merits of redemption to individual souls – is the *co-redemption of the Blessed Virgin Mary *and the powerful action of the Sacraments. God bless you.

This can be very misleading to a non-Catholic. All of the above must be understood in the following light of Church Dogma:

1 Jesus Christ is our SOLE MEDIATOR who, by HIS life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the freely given grace of Salvation and the Sanctification of our own good works, making them meritorious. This is not something we have earned, but have been given by the Mercy and Love of Jesus Christ. Even the Blessed Virgin Mary was redeemed (by a Sanctifying grace at her Immaculate Conception,) in anticipation of the work of Redemption by Jesus Christ.

  1. It is this ocean of grace, won for us by Jesus Christ that ENABLES us to do good works, which are deemed meritorious by God. This includes the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  2. Therefore all of the prerogatives we ascribe to the Virgin Mary, are ULTIMATELY due to the free GRACE AND MERCY of Jesus Christ.

  3. All of the redemptive suffering we patiently endure, is ALSO by the Grace of Jesus Christ, and not attributable to ourselves.

I am not arguing against the theology of redemptive suffering, just trying to keep it in perspective, as non-Catholics might easily misconstrue many of the comments in this thread as denigrating the work of Redemption wrought by Jesus Christ alone.

Co-Redemption is NOT equal to Redemption – I never said that it was – but still it is a reality if we consider the special role of Mary in the redemption of man taught by Marian theologians. If anyone misunderstands what I say in my previous post and thinks that Co-Redemption means Redemption, it is their own fault, for I NEVER have said that Mary or we REDEEM souls, only that our co-redemption contributes to the application of the merits of the Redemption of Christ to individual souls. And I mean the souls who come into the world every day. I am merely relaying the theology relayed to me by a Marian Novus Ordo friar and by pious Catholic books. I don’t find it hard to believe that Mary is Co-Redemptrix. Not at all. But if it is true what the Marian friar I spoke with says about us being co-redeemers in a much lesser way than Mary, but co-redeemers just the same – it makes sense to me in light of what St. Paul says here in Col. 1:24. “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:” I believe that if we, like Mary but to a lesser degree, truly are co-redeemers in the application of the merits of the Redemption on Christ to individual souls who come into the world every day , then we are co-redeemers in a MUCH lesser way than Mary the Mother of God, who played a most special and unique role in the redemption of man.

If you do not read Marian books written by the Saints and Marian theologians, you may try to further refute me, so I will make this my last post on this thread with hopes that you and others understand my explanation. God bless you.

[quote=ready]But if it is true what the Marian friar I spoke with says about us being co-redeemers in a much lesser way than Mary, but co-redeemers just the same – it makes sense to me in light of what St. Paul says here in Col. 1:24. “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:” I believe that if we, like Mary but to a lesser degree, truly are co-redeemers in the application of the merits of the Redemption on Christ to individual souls who come into the world every day , then we are co-redeemers in a MUCH lesser way than Mary the Mother of God, who played a most special and unique role in the redemption of man.

If you do not read Marian books written by the Saints and Marian theologians, you may try to further refute me, so I will make this my last post on this thread with hopes that you and others understand my explanation. God bless you.
[/quote]

I think you misunderstand me. I am not contradicting you. I am merely trying to keep things in perspective. It must ALWAYS be born in mind, that ALL of our merits (including those of the BVM) are made possible by the freely bestowed grace of our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Mediator, offers OUR suffering and mediation on behalf of sinners, to the FAther, for which reason they are acceptable, and for no other.

If you think about it, I am not contradicting you or the Marian Theology that is being discussed. All I am trying to do is make it clear to non-Catholics, that all Justification comes from Jesus Christ and no one else according to the Dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church. All of the co-redemptions, and redemptive sufferings we are discussing, are made possible by the grace of Jesus Christ, and not to us, who can do nothing without Him. :slight_smile:

Oh, there is one more thing I’d like to post on this thread before leaving:

Pope Benedict XV says in* Inter Sodalicia*: “Mary suffered and almost died with her suffering and dying Son. She abdicated her maternal rights for the salvation of men and, as much as she could, immolated her Son to appease the justice of God to such an extent that we can justifiably say that she redeemed the human race with her Son.”

I feel perfectly safe seeing Mary as Co-Redemptrix in light of Pope Benedict’s teaching. He is a holy and learned head of the Church, and I can go by what he says as God’s representative. Several Popes and Saints see Mary’s role in our Redemption in the same light as Pope Benedict XV, I have quotes from them in my book: Virgin Wholly Marvelous, Edited by David Supple, O.S.B.

If we who suffer redemptively are indeed co-redeemers – and I don’t know what a traditional priest would say about this – we’d be co-redeemers in a much different way and in a very less significant way than the BVM.

God bless you.

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