Talking about "suffering"


Well, I was invited to speak in an auditorium on some subject of my interest involving Christianity. I’m Catholic, but it is an ecumenical moment, so I can not delve into many details of apologetics etc. I need to be succinct as you see. I’ve been meaning to talk about “suffering.” What is the suffering on Christianity, why it is needed and why it do exists. What implications do it have. What examples I can show; stories etc. Anyway, I ask you to help me with suggestions or ideas about what I can talk. I know there are many people on this forum that are really wise and that can add a lot to my presentation!

Pax et Bonum


Colossians 1:21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—23 **if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard*, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

**24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.**25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.*


Suffering is part of our limited nature. We wear out and die.

The question is do we sanctify this natural part of our life, or not? Do we use suffering to draw closer to Christ? Do we pull out of suffering the supernatural value that God is ready to give us by our acceptance of His will, or not?

It's called Redemptive Suffering.


You can address that our Lord Jesus continues to suffer even though He was resurrected and glorified. The Sufferings of Jesus continues. He is in constant agony until the end of the world says Pascal. Jesus is tied in with every human being in the world. He is tied into all the sufferings of mankind. He will not release Himself from this agony. However we can lessen His sufferings by coming closer to Him and we can participate into His redemption of mankind by offering our own sufferings united to His which makes for a dynamite prayer. He is ever so pleased when we lessen His sufferings. One of the main reasons why God allows suffering and even evil is to derive a greater good. How do we know this? By looking to the Cross. It was there where we killed the Son of God. But from this greatest evil came the greatest good, our Redemption!


Maybe listen to Dr. Peter Kreeft's talks on suffering or his talk on CS Lewis and the problem of pain as a primer.


I am reading on some of the saints and of those I have read, they suffered. It seems it is through their suffering they reached a perfection. And I heard this tonight:

The real truth- God does not reach us in spite of our wounds, He reaches us through our wounds. Unite your wounded heart with Christ's wounded heart. The saints are the ones who live in this union.


A great magisterial resource about the value of suffering can be found in Pope John Paul’s salvifici Doloris
God Bless


Might want to look at the Encyclical Salvific Dolorois by JPII



Penance is a form of suffering and is necessary to achieve God's justice; however, God is merciful in his justice.

We should seek to imitate God.

Now, let us join and pray an Act of Love.


Off topic…

Hatred must be overcome by works.

As others trespass against us, we must do works to bring charity back to the soul.


If I were to give a talk to a mixed group on suffering, it would be on the sufferings of Jesus Christ in his whole life, but mainly focusing on his public suffering at the hands of the pharisees, and then on his last days with us on earth.

Everyone needs to hear and be touched by Jesus over and over. No better way than by appreciating his sufferings for us and how we too must suffer for one another.

Just a thought.

“Does a mother forget her baby? Or a woman the child within her womb? Yet even if these forget, I will never forget my own.” (hymn)


The Catholic Church embraces suffering, acknowledging and accepting its inevitability rather than fearing it and attempting to avoid it at all costs, as some non-Catholic Christian groups do, such as the Prosperity Movement. Here are some excerpts from the Catechism:


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