Retroactively offering up redemptive suffering


Given that God is outside of time, it would seem like it would be possible to belatedly offer up suffering you have already endured in the past - for example, some serious pain you suffered during a past time of your life when you were perhaps not thinking about God. I was thinking about Archbishop Sheen passing a hospital and saying, “all that wasted suffering” and trying to find a way to not waste mine although it is from a long itme back.

I cannot find a source confirming this, however. I read Pope JPII’s Salvefici Doloris and a long page on FishEaters and couldn’t find anything about offering suffering retroactively there.

Anybody have a source? Do you think this might be possible to keep old suffering from being wasted?


I think yes, although I dunno anything about this that is official Church teaching.

That said, I have done this retroactive offering up of sufferings. Hoping that somehow all of these are maximized or put to good use by God. For the holy souls, for our own intentions, etc. In that way, nothing is wasted.


Thank you, fin. I have trust in your knowledge based on our past conversations regarding spiritual matters.

I figure even if God can’t give 100 percent credit because I didn’t offer up the back injury or the eye injury when it happened, but years later, perhaps He can give partial credit. I am also not sure how much I may or may not have offered it up at the time because I was in a lot of pain and probably calling on God although specific memories of that time have faded and I do not recall it well because it wasn’t happy times.


I have no idea if it is theologically sound, but I too have retroactively offered up things that I did not offer up when they were initially occurring. Just like you, I feel as though everything we perceive as time is continually “present” to God. I pray He accepts my offering, even if to me, in my time, there was a delay. All I can do is trust in His Divine Mercy.


Trusting in God’s Divine Mercy is certainly a comforting thought in many situations.
I cannot imagine what life was like for Catholics before that concept became popular.


I have no source to offer, but I had also thought of this for much the same reasoning as you, that God is beyond time and all merciful. I think that if we think of it and want to do it sincerely and offer it, it will be accepted simply because God’s generosity cannot be outdone, especially towards us.

I also read something once about some scientist who didnt believe in time, saying it was a man made concept, something about the eternal now. All beyond me… but if it is true and God has chosen to reveal that to them then that time we suffered that is now so we can offer it as it is.

I think also that it is worth bearing in mind that God is mightier than we can even imagine so nothing is ever impossible for Him so we can just give our past sufferings to God as an offering and He can make it possible, so it doesnt even matter if it is possible cos He will make it possible for us.


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