Suffering with Christ

I was reading 1 Pet 4 last night and v. 13 talks about suffering with Christ. I started to think about the subject. Jesus is currently in Heaven sitting at the right hand of the Father. There no suffering in Heaven so how can we suffer with Him? Is Jesus exception to the “No suffering in Heaven” rule? Or is it possible because He is outside of space and time?

I’m thinking that this is probably not something on which the Church has spoken in a definitive manner, but I wonder if any of the saints have weighed in.

From what I have read, several Saints have stated that Christ still suffers, and will continue to do so until this present world is over.

So, every sin we commit causes Our Lord to suffer.

I think the suffering of both Christ and His Mother are the emotional sorrows from people turning away from God, dishonoring Him in the Holy Eucharist, choosing to sin when they know better, and scorning Him as our Savior. All of us should be aware that emotional pain can be even more intense than the physical. I think He suffers because He came, lived, taught and voluntarily gave His life (mortal life) and suffered both physically and spiritually to save us. When we refuse or scorn such a great gift from Him, I believe He suffers mental and emotional anguish and sorrow over these things.

Christ’s glorified body is considered to be “impassible” according to the Baltimore Catechism - which means that it is no longer capable of suffering. Yet, we compose the Body of Christ, do we not? The Body of Christ consists of the Church Militant (on earth) and the Church Suffering (Purgatory) as well as the Church Triumphant (Heaven). Thus, those of us on earth and those in purgatory still suffer.

Hmm. Never thought about it that way. Interesting.

For this reason, as to our sufferings, we may “offer it up.” Our suffering may be offered to the Father, inasmuch we are parts of Christ’s Body. Our suffering is a lesser form of Christ’s suffering, since you and I are not the completeness of Christ, but merely parts of His Body. Yet, our suffering can accomplish on a micro level part of what Jesus’ suffering accomplished on a macro level. As Christ offered Himself via suffering for the general purpose of the redemption of mankind, you and I can offer our lesser sufferings for specific purposes - conversion of sinners, on behalf of souls in Purgatory, for the healing of the sick or other good purposes. It is an act of charity toward our brothers and sisters to offer our suffering up to the Father on their behalf. And, for this reason, the Catholic faith senses and appreciates the true value of suffering. It all derives from the value of Christ’s suffering on our behalf. Many of our non-Catholic brothers and sisters struggle mightily with the subject of suffering.

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