I have protestant friends who simply can’t wrap their minds around the Catholic idea of “reparative suffering”, where the willful and joyful acceptance of suffering can work in reparation for our sins and the sins of others. In their view, all suffering is from the Evil One, and while we may bear it with grace and peace, it does not add one bit to the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
It struck me in prayer recently that the example of Simon of Cyrene is an example of reparative suffering: Simon is forced, unwilling, to help Jesus by carrying His Cross for Him part of the way. In like wise by joyfully accepting our suffering we help Jesus in the same way Simon helped Him.
Is this a good example of reparative suffering? What say you?
You can always provide them with scriptural evidence:
“But I pommel by body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
“And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:17-18)
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake.” (Philippians 1:29)
“For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement.” (2 Corinthians 1:5-7)
Christ’s suffering and death opened the gates of Heaven to us so that we might be coheirs to eternal life, and no longer suffer spiritual death through Him. Our works of penance don’t attempt to suffice for Christ’s sufferings, but to strengthen our faith so that we may remain faithful to Him and inherit the life He has promised us.
Oh, the errors of protestantism. This is 100% simple and biblical. Colossians 1:24. Have them explain that. Paul made up in his body what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ. Something lacking? They accuse Catholics of this. Scripture accuses them.
So, they are in the untenable position of holding that Paul was wrong. “Well, what that really means is…” is not an answer - it is opinion, and not even a good opinion.
We are baptized into the Body of Christ. We are His members - parts of His mystical Body.
Being part of Christ’s suffering Body guarantees that we, being integral with Him, will also suffer - must also suffer. If we do not suffer, there will be no crown of glory for us.
As Christ’s suffering was redemptive, and we are parts of His living Body, our suffering in union with Him can also accomplish redemption, if properly entered into and properly applied. Servant of God Bishop Fulton J. Sheen lamented wasted suffering - that which was not offered to God in reparation for sin.
Why don’t certain bible Christians know their bible?
…apparently they have never heard a word that St. Paul said:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:5-7)
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
…and this is what St. Peter tells us about suffering:
19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
(1 St. Peter 2:19-22)
Sadly, the “feel good” theology cannot bear even sinners suffering, let alone God accepting offerings of our suffering to be united to Christ’s!
…and the difference between one person’s sufferings and another’s is that one or the other may offer his/her suffering up to God–Jesus Command us to rest upon Him, to bring Him our toils… to help Him Carry His yoke so that He may Carry ours.
…they may have created such different interpretation that it is unrecognizable to them… and when they press against Catholics who bring it up they are astounded because they did not prepare a response (excuse) for what is so explicitly stated in Scriptures.