Suffering

Suffering is painful yet beautiful, yet very peculiar. There’s so much to say on it.

Suffering is the state of a person who suffers, i.e., the state in which we undergo or are subject to endure pain, distress, injury, loss, or anything unpleasant-anything that doesn’t fall in line with our needs, or inclinations; which does not harmonize them but contradicts them.”

That is exactly what suffering is, in and of itself.

But as commonly known, God loves us beyond our comprehension. So why does He still permit this?

God’s unimaginable love makes suffering turn into a beautiful supernatural element in our lives. It adds a totally new dimension.

A human being, in its nature, is subject to misery (i.e. suffering). It tries to escape from being placed in a position of suffering/vulnerability. It runs away until suffering catches up to them. When this does occur, it tries to numb the pain with something else. In this situation, the human no longer cares to think about the possible good that can come with suffering. (After all, what good can come out of pain anyways?) There’s no need to think of this as man’s eyes are blind to that aspect of pain/suffering.

When a person’s eyes [of the heart] have been opened, God slowly reveals the beautiful dormant “secret of accepting it [i.e. suffering] into [his/her] life without destroying the harmony or the happiness” (Divine Intimacy). He teaches the soul how suffering here on earth can be turned into something magnificent.

ImageVincent van Gogh’s Old Man in Sorrow

Souls must see suffering as a profit; as an opportunity to pray for souls in purgatory, to offer up sufferings and join it to Christ’s for conversions (i.e. family/friends) and finally for one’s own sanctity/spiritual progress. In essence, the soul realizes that every form of suffering (i.e. deaths, the common cold, dryness in prayer, rocky relationships…etc.) can bring Glory to the God who loves us beyond compare and aid in one’s own salvation and that of others. All this is done out of pure love for our Creator, because we, wretched creatures, are finally learning to love Him back.

Imagine if we lived in a perfect world, where we never had to suffer. We knew that God loved us crazy, but it wouldn’t matter so much to us because we’re “well off”. In one respect, He lets us suffer so we can turn to Him, and grow into a deeper, more intimate relationship with the lover of our Hearts, our God. Suffering is kind of like the wound of our sins. It will always be there. God permits suffering because He wants us to learn that even when it’s so hard, and things just hurt us so much, God is present with us, closer than ever! He feels the hurt we feel. And it crushes Him to see that His own son or daughter is hurting, or weeping.

It is simple to say how close God is when things are going well, and His presence can be felt. However, when we are forced to believe that God is still as close as before (even closer) when we are hurting, or having a difficult time to pray, He uses that situation to strengthen us and purify us!

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