Disappointment, frustration, unhappiness, pain … just a few of the challenges we experience in life.
Some are minor irritations. Others are setbacks or even life-altering events.
It may happen directly to us. Or to someone we love.
Our response to these challenges affects our happiness. But more importantly, how we choose to respond directly impacts our entry to heaven.
God teaches us to take up our cross and live with dignity. And to love others in the midst of their suffering.
God has not promised to free us from suffering. Instead, God promises to save us through our suffering.
Pope John Paul II lived this example in the final years of his life. Despite declining health, he continued to travel and do God’s work. Even in the final days–and hours–of his life, Pope John Paul offered up his suffering for the world to see.
“Even I offer up my sufferings, so that God’s plan is fulfilled and so that His word spreads among the people. I am also close to those who, at this moment, are tried by sufferings. I pray for each one of them.”
~ Pope John Paul II, March 2005
The only way to be happy is to do God’s will, and you can’t do that without a cross. This week’s resources provide understanding, instruction, and inspiration for dealing with your crosses and finding more happiness.
Last Sunday’s readings propose a shortcut way to know if you really have faith or not: Does it hurt? God wants us to be happy, but the only path to happiness lies through suffering. This is the message of the Gospel for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B).
Suffering is the great problem of human life. We all have to suffer. Sometimes small sorrows, sometimes greater ones fall to our share. We shall now tell our readers how to avoid much of this suffering, how to lessen all suffering and how to derive great benefits from every suffering we may have to bear.
Suffering is an integral part of the human experience, and in one way or another, we all must learn to discover Christ’s love in the midst of our suffering. It may be helpful for some if they consider the distinction between sufferings that should be avoided, sufferings that should be moderately embraced, and sufferings that our Lord gives to us for our sanctification.
It’s not meant to be a complete list, and all of these things are not absolutely unique to Catholics. But, they are useful ways that Catholics can experience grief and suffering.
It is no secret that Karol Wojtyla, as a young man and even during the early years of his pontificate, was a picture of health, vigor, and vitality. As an athlete skilled in soccer, swimming, canoeing and skiing, he exhibited a great physical presence. In the early 90s, however, a series of health problems began to take their toll. The pope offered the world a wonderful model for responding with grace to the test of suffering and illness.
With all that’s come out over the past couple of months related to the Catholic sex abuse crisis, and seemingly widespread allegations of misconduct among bishops and cardinals, we are certainly not in era where evangelization will be easy. To put it bluntly, the Catholic Church has a PR problem. We’re living in a moment where we have everyone’s attention, for better or worse. Who can say how God will work through these tragedies?
Some saints literally carried a cross to their own crucifixions. They did so willingly, knowing that to die a martyr on a cross was to unite themselves completely to the sacrifice of Jesus. Here are five such saints both from ancient and recent times who took up their crosses and followed Jesus all the way to the bitter end.
Honoring a priest shot at point-blank range by the mafia, Pope Francis insisted that true happiness and a real change in Sicilian society will come only when people love and care for one another rather than trying to grab as much money and power as they can.
A young girl in Honduras named Reyna, through a random act of violence, was shot and left paralyzed; left bound to a wheelchair. By participating with the Lord and His work in her life, the Lord has given her the grace, not only to accept and offer back to the Lord this great tragedy that happened to her, but even to forgive the young man whose actions had left her in this state of great suffering.
Kds might pretend they can’t hear you, but they’re always listening. ALWAYS. And watching. Of course they can recite back to you all the life lessons you churn out, but what really sticks is seeing you live by the words you guide them with. When you practice what you preach, there’s a much stronger impact.
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