How to Offer Up Suffering

0
"How to offer up suffering" by Marya Hayes (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes. All rights reserved.

For the past six years of my life I have spent more and more time trying to manage my pain and symptoms. There are lots of doctor visits and treatment plans to attend to. I go to physical therapy at least three times a week for at least 90 minutes at a time. The main room of physical therapy suite has about 20 tables. All the patients in there are at different stages of deterioration and recovery. Everyone there has physical constraints, and complaints. Everyone there is in a state of attempting to heal.

In the last couple of years I have wanted to make sure that when I am experiencing pain that I do my best to “offer up my suffering.” I remember as a kid that if something was upsetting me, that my mom would instruct me to offer it up. I am still hoping that I am doing a good job to offer it up, and that I can remember to do it when appropriate.

"How to offer up suffering" by Marya Hayes (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes. All rights reserved.

When my father died six years ago, the priest suggested that I read The Gift of Peace by Cardinal Jospeph Bernadin. I remember the portion in the book where he was suffering and dying from cancer. He also was in the process of trying to pray while in pain. If memory serves me, he offered this advice. It is much easier to pray while you are not in pain, and it is virtually impossible to pray when you are in severe pain. I am finding that to be quite true. I have many hours that I have moderate pain and in those times I try to remember to offer up a thought to God. I usually say something to the effect of,

“Lord, please accept this pain as an offering for my own sins, for the souls in purgatory, for the conversion of my family. Please use this pain and make it something beautiful. Lord, I know you can use this. Please use my pain that I have forgotten to offer up in the past.”

"How to offer up suffering" by Marya Hayes (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes. All rights reserved.

I know that Saint Teresa of Calcutta said that suffering is compared to the kiss of Jesus, because you are entering closer to the passion of Christ. But in order to do that, I imagine that it has to be your intention to enter into the Passion with Christ.

In this stage of life so many of my own friends have suffered with abuse, divorce, children in rehab, substance abuse, and cancer. There are many forms of suffering. I want to encourage you to offer a small prayer, or long prayer, at some point during the moments you suffer. Ask your Savior to do something beautiful and meaningful with your suffering. Then you can add your own intention for your suffering, and enter into the Passion of Christ.

Maybe you ask that through your suffering your children might find their way back to the Church. Maybe you offer your prayers for your marriage to heal and return to intimacy. Maybe you pray for larger situations like those suffering in other countries or that our country can come up with a good way to treat those seeking asylum from abuse. Maybe we will pray for the turning of a hurricane or destructive fires to be put out.

Whatever it is, I am sure that God will recognize those things that you present without the perfect words. On the phone last night, my good friend reminded me of the power of fasting. It is something that I had not thought of in conjunction with my own pain. I probably thought that dealing with my own pain was enough. It is a good challenge, and one I must consider for the greater good.

"How to offer up suffering" by Marya Hayes (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes. All rights reserved.

We know that Saint Monica suffered much and prayed for the conversion of her abusive husband and for the conversion of her son Augustine for 30 years. That is a lot of suffering and a lot of prayers. Later, Augustine wrote this:

Many years earlier you had shown her a vision of me standing on the rule of faith; and now indeed I stood there, no longer seeking a wife or entertaining any worldly hope, for you had converted me to yourself. In so doing you had also converted her grief into joy far more abundant that she had desired, and much more tender and chaste than she could ever have looked to find in grandchildren from my flesh.

"How to offer up suffering" by Marya Hayes (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes. All rights reserved.

Here are a few prayers for offering up suffering, from OurCatholicPrayers.com:

Dear Lord,
Help me to remember in these troubled times
The cross you carried for my sake,
So that I may better carry mine
And to help others do the same,
As I offer up (whatever your concern or problem here) to you
For the conversion of sinners
For the forgiveness of sins
In reparation for sins
And for the salvation of souls. Amen

 

Dear Lord,
I offer you (whatever your concern or problem here)
For the conversion of sinners
For the forgiveness of sins
In reparation for sins and
For the salvation of souls. Amen.

 

Dear Lord, during this trial,
I offer up to you my confusion
Give me clarity
I offer up to you my despair
Give me hope
I offer up to you my weakness
Give me strength
I offer up to you my pettiness
Give me generosity of spirit.
I offer up to you all my
Negative thoughts from Satan
So that when he asks ‘Where is Your God now?”
I may respond “Right here with me, giving me His grace
As a Heavenly beam of light penetrating your darkness!”

 

Oh my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes

Share.

About Author

Married to her longtime friend and mommy to 3 high energy children, who demand her constant attention, and direction, Marya serves on the board of directors for a Domestic Violence non-profit. When not working, she is working out, taking the family for nature walks and adventures, or at the movies. She lives in Southern California and feels absolutely blessed to enjoy the beauty of the area every day.

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.