As human beings, we all want to avoid suffering. We do not want to see our loved ones suffer. In fact, there is this story of a person who entered into counseling with the illusion of alleviating the suffering of people. Eventually, she realized that whether we want it or not, whether we are reading or not, suffering will always be part of life.
In the Gospel, amidst the fame and popularity of Jesus, he often talks about suffering. Hence, in our daily struggle for holiness, always expect suffering. Three things we remember, to help us through:
- Holiness is not easy because we are in the middle of spiritual warfare. The more we come closer to God, the more the evil one will do anything and everything to move us away. Hence, we experience suffering. Go through the stories of the different lives of saints. Suffering is always a large part of their lives. Padre Pio’s battle with the devil was well documented.
- When we love we will truly suffer. When Jesus was asked, “Which is the greatest among the commandments?” His response was, “Love of God and Love of Neighbor.” We can suffer without loving but we cannot love without suffering. St. Charles Borromeo decided to help the poor when a plague broke in Milan during his time. He had the option of just leaving the city but instead, he suffered because he loved God and loved his neighbor.
- God has a Plan in All. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that all have a time and purpose under heaven. In other words, there will be good times and there will be bad times. There will be joy and there will be pain; sometimes life is sunny and at times gloomy. Thus, when suffering, never lose hope because God has a plan in all of this.
With this in mind, may we always remember:
- We continue to do God’s will, especially in the most difficult times.
- Never aspire for an easy life…aspire for a meaningful life.
- We keep in our mind a quote: “Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God”.