Sacrifice and suffering


both are talked about a lot. how are they different?


Suffering is not always a choice, sacrifice is.


Exactly - an illness, for example, isn’t a sacrifice, we don’t choose to have it.

Remaining patient, calm, selfless, and positive while ill, though, certianly is a sacrifice - we can choose to have that attitude instead of a grumpy, self-pitying attention-seeking attitude.


The old Catholic “catch phrase”… Offer it up! This is what makes suffering a true sacrifice. Offer up to God… whatever causes suffering.

God bless.


thank you for answering.

i think it goes in circles. sacrifice to create suffering to “offer it up” as a sacrifice.

i once asked a friend why Jesus had to suffer. i could not stop thinking about this and asking questions. he finally told me to stop worrying about it. i don’t think anyone knows. i don’t understand suffering. it makes no sense to me.


All of the things I love most in my life have come as a result of suffering (mine or someone else’s). I may not like it, but that’s how it is, at least for me.


Suffering is a physical evil caused by moral evil. God permits it to save souls.

Sacrifice is a self-giving action caused by charity. We sacrifice ourselves when we bear unwanted sufferings.

All we suffer and sacrifice, we do it for Jesus, in Jesus, with Jesus, and through Jesus.


“chromatica”, we don’t create suffering in order to offer it up. :nope: True suffering is the inescapable result of sin. Our own personal sin and the sin which exists in the world. We conquer the resultant suffering, through obedience (in imitation of Our Lord). One way we can do this, is to “offer it up” to God. “Offering up” our suffering to God… is like the offering of Jesus (on the Cross), and is an expression of trust in our Eternal Father.

Did that make sense? I hope so. :slight_smile: God bless.


thank you. :slight_smile: i think it is too deep for me to understand. God can save the world in many different ways. He chose suffering. God seems to want us to suffer too. i don’t know why. i don’t know how people offer suffering to God. i cannot pick it out of my self and leave it on a altar. it is something Catholics say. like peace be with you. i am not sure people mean what they say.


I think you are doing a fine job, in understanding. :thumbsup:

While it’s true… that God could have simply “erased the slate” so to speak… and just started over, without sending His Son to suffer and die… He chose NOT to do it that way. Why? Because He loves us.

Our Lord, Himself… summed it up, perfectly.

“Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

He made a perfect sacrifice of love (so we should never doubt His love for us). That’s what true love is all about. Making sacrifices for those you love. In order to “offer it up”… you don’t have to pick it out of yourself, and leave it at the altar. All you have to do… is make a conscious act of the will. Just say to Our Lord, in whatever language is natural to you… “Lord, I offer to You… my entire day… and everything in it”… or something along those lines. He will understand what is in your heart… and He will take it from there.

When Catholics say “Peace be with you”… we are echoing the words of Our Blessed Lord, when He appeared to the Apostles (after the Resurrection). It is a prayer, of sorts… that the Peace of Lord will be granted to them.

God bless you dear soul.


ok. thank you. :slight_smile:


Jesus suffered because God loved the world and all of us so much that he sent his only-begotten Son to Die for us on the cross to Redeem Mankind and Conquer Death. Because Christ, the Son of God, suffered, it shows that we as Christians have a personal Savior (unlike Hinduism and Buddhism’s impersonal gods) who perfectly understands all our suffering and pain on the personal level. He challenges us to take up our crosses in life, not overly worry, and know, as St. Paul said, that now we only see as through a glass half-darkly but in the afterlife we and our loved ones can find Eternal Bliss in Heaven with no more shedding of tears. Christ suffered so that YOU may have eternal life!

Suffering entered into the world because of the Fall, and because God gave us the gift of free will. Had we no free will, and were to be just automatons fulfilling God’s wishes, what sort of faith would we have or what sort of love? Each of us is a unique creation in God’s eyes. If God were to interfere every time let’s say a child was about to die, this would defeat the whole purpose of living on earth in free will and making choices between good and evil because every parent would then basically give up on caring for their child as God would surely take care of the child. Natural calamities happen as well because we read in the Bible all of Creation yearns and moans in its wait for the Return of Jesus.

But your concerns about suffering are not unique. Even St. Paul described in the Bible how he could no longer suffer with a particular ailment God have given him, and three times he pleaded with God to cure him. But God did not, this saintly apostle who helped build Christianity, prompting Paul to realize that “when I am weak then I am strong”, the paradox of the Cross and how our suffering reveals something mystical and that Christ’s Power shows itself most powerful in our individual infirmities. It is easier said than done however, as even C.S. Lewis attested. Even St. Bernadette of Lourdes, who saw Mary personally and established a cathedral for countless healings, dreaded the intense suffering she had to undergo and could not believe how painful it was for her to die. One may be the greatest saint but one might nonetheless suffer abominably. It is in these times that we must most closely attach to Christ’s love and focus on the Cross, Our Victory.

Ultimately, suffering can never be sufficiently explained on this earth, other than to know that somehow it is connected with Christ’s redemptive work and directly with how we are to abide in Paradise if taken. As one author once wrote, after we die, all will be made known by God, and we will see that no suffering was without reason and purpose and that God’s invisible writing ran all through our lives and souls. May God Bless You! :slight_smile:


You know the old saying that innocence see’s no evil. It’s true and it’s loss is the reason suffering is a problem. The innocent heart does not feel an injustice against them is committed when they experience suffering. One of my favorite titles given to jesus is ’ The Perfect Victim" Jesus was not victimized by suffering. Suffering fulfilled His purpose. He didn’t turn from God as if a crime had been committed because His Innocent heart would not see that evil in it’s ignorance but would only ask Why God?

Sacrifice is disinterested gift of self which in the beginning was natural to us. Not something conceptualized as a loss of something but not something necessary to conceptualize at all. :twocents:


i have never thought about Jesus not knowing or understanding the evil being done to Him. that is a light bulb.

your other part about sacrifice. that is amazing.

thank you. :slight_smile:


Yes, Jesus DID understand and know the evil being done to Him. That is why He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Moreover, Jesus is God, not just Man, and God knows everything.


Hi Eucharisted. I should clarify for chromatica’s sake. I was too vague. I was refering to those who in their suffering blame God as if their suffering is an injustice from Him and the ignorance I was refering to would be ignorance of how what is being suffered is a good from God. In that kind of confusion an innocent heart doesn’t judge the experience as an evil but only askes ‘why?’ How is this good? Jesus could experience this ignorance as He learned from the Father.


this does not work. not in my experience.


The christians rejoiced when persecuted knowing that the opportunity to forgive added power to their prayers

This saying about the early christians nicely defines the experience of sacrifice and suffering as experienced through the power of the cross.



Suffering isn’t a good from God, suffering is a physical evil. However, Jesus gives us sufferings - He permits us to suffer - so we can share in His sufferings, and, so, share in His glory as well - out of evil, He brings forth a greater good. The saints always said that suffering is evil, but ‘it is set up for good’, meaning they understood the redemptive value of suffering in union with the sufferings of Jesus Christ on the Cross, in light of the Passion and Death of our Lord.

As far as Jesus experiencing ignorance, He did not. But He did experience the agony of sinners on the Cross. He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” In His Humanity He felt abandoned by God, though He is God and Man, and, at the same time, by quoting the psalm, He was telling those present (and us today) that even though He had suffered death, He had triumphed over evil.


The ultimate sacrifice you can make is to give Jesus your will. Like this: “Jesus, I offer You my will, for (intention). Let me live exclusively by Your Will.”


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