"Simon of Cyrene" biblical proof of "Reparative Suffering"?


I’ve been meditating on the subject of suffering lately. I try to offer my sufferings up to Jesus. Some of my Protestant friends tell me that the idea of “reparative suffering” is foolish, as Christ suffered and died for all, and so our sufferings cannot be offered to Jesus, or “do any good” if doing so.

Today I suddenly thought of Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross part of the way for Jesus. Do you think it is a fair analogy, that in reparative suffering we are acting as Simon did in bearing some of the load Jesus carried on His road to Calvary?


The Bible tells us…that which is lacking…
but what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings?
The answer is easy: our own!


Yes. Although some people think that he did it unwillingly, I believe the Church considers him a Saint because took up his cross and followed Jesus, the way Jesus instructed.


Yes, you’re exactly right…Simon of Cyrene…and also the men in Capernaum who carried the paralytic to the rooftop and lowered him down to Jesus are a good example of our cooperation and unity with Jesus’s work of Redemption.


Another example you could use is fasting. Fasting is all over the Bible, it’s even a New Testament thing. And it is a form of offering our sufferings up to God as a prayer. If our sufferings can’t help others, then fasting is useless – but it’s not useless since it’s in the Bible as a good thing. Therefore our sufferings Can help others.


This is a very interesting point. Redemptive Suffering is a teaching that is so needed in our world, it is the cure for the cruel “prosperity gospel” that has turned so many away from Christ.

Thank you for this post.


Add to them the wine steward and his staff at the Wedding of Cana.

I love this thread!!!


And the priest who consecrates the bread and wine and then feeds the sheep.


Lent is a time when all Catholics are supposed to suffer.

Fasting, prayer, penance.


How ignorant of the scriptures they are! We are parts - members - of Jesus’ body. As such, we are guaranteed suffering. Didn’t Jesus mention a “cross”? That is not the crown of glory! Not yet. Ask them to explain why we still suffer, if Jesus took it all? This line of reasoning does not comport with reality and has made more than one believer into an atheist. Sadly, this is rightfully so. Their theology is both irrational as well as ignorant. They may be loud talkers but they are not deep thinkers.

The readings of Paul - even Paul’s conversion - show that suffering has redemptive value. If we do not suffer, we can expect no crown of glory. The Lord told Ananias, then Paul directly that Saul/Paul would have to suffer for the Name. A lifetime of suffering as penance for having persecuted the Church; for having stood by, and approving of the murder of Stephen the Deacon (Acts 6).

It sounds like your friends ascribe to the doctrine of “Public Assistance Christianity” in which someone else pays and they simply wait for the benefits to arrive. That produces a lazy, even a dead faith. James 2 is very instructive here.

How sad it is that those who live by Paul ignore the vast majority of the content that he wrote. Without knowing it, their hope is not so much in Christ as it is in the Catholic Church’s doctrine of invincible ignorance. They are certainly worthy of prayer.


Great post, and hence the first Saturday reparation for sins against the Immaculate Heart. Since, she too is a member of the “body of Christ”.


I can’t remember which recent saint said something along the lines of, “if people only knew how to use their sufferings well we’d have many more saints!” I meditate a lot on the general consensus of the saints (in harmony with, of course, the cross of Christ) that suffering is the key to saving souls, including our own. I also am quite convinced that the kind of suffering Christ asks us to offer up is not so much the “extras” we choose to do (penance, fasting-although of course these are good in themselves) but rather the sufferings we don’t choose but must bear: our own struggle with sin, the burden of ourselves in general, the sufferings and irritations of others, etc. I think this is why St. Therese of Lisieux is so appealing in her "little way."
Of course, this Catholic idea of suffering flies in the face of everything society teaches us. A sign of contradiction for sure. And yet–everyone suffers.


That’s a good reply to one possible comment (I like having debates in my own head while doing dishes and the like. That way I’m better prepared when I actually participate in discussions.) Simon didn’t ask to carry the cross. It was just handed to him. Likewise, we don’t ask for a lot of our sufferings, such as job losses or problems in our marriages. Yet they are given to us. It’s a sign of our faith in G_D that we do bear these crosses.

(Going off on a tangent: can anyone tell me if it’s more likely that Jesus went barefoot to his crucifixion or if he wore sandals? I’m thinking He went barefoot. More painful that way.)


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