If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. We are supposed to offer our suffering up to God and it becomes a way of sanctification for us and others. Suffering is partly a mystery. So Christ shares his reward with us as justifying grace and the glory of blessedness in heaven. Meditate on God’s Word daily. He noted that our reconciliation with God and becoming like him requires more than simple forgiveness. suffer many things . Thus when we are in the state of grace in union with Jesus Christ, our suffering becomes redemptive, and through it our souls are sanctified. If we lay first, for a sure ground, a very fast faith, whereby we believe to be true all that the scripture saith (understood truly, as the old holy doctors declare it and as the spirit of God instructeth his Catholic Church), then shall we consider tribulation as a gracious gift of God, a gift that he specially gave his special friends; a thing that in scripture is highly commended and praised; a thing of which the contrary, long continued, is perilous; a thing which, if God send it not, men have need to put upon themselves and seek by penance; a thing that helpeth to purge our past sins; a thing that preserveth us from sins that otherwise would come; a thing that causeth us to set less by the world; a thing that much diminisheth our pains in purgatory; a thing that much increaseth our final reward in heaven; the thing with which all his apostles followed him thither; the thing to which our Saviour exhorteth all men; the thing without which he saith we be not his disciples; the thing without which no man can get to heaven. 18 Jehovah does not force us to choose him as our Ruler. The Bible clearly teaches that God does not cause us to suffer. There are those who can barely take care of themselves. Augustine would not have been surprised at their response. The concept of the victim soul derives from the Roman Catholic teaching on redemptive suffering.Such a person is said to be one chosen by God to suffer more than most people during life, and who generously accepts the suffering, based on the example of Christ's own Passion.The Catholic Church does not officially designate anyone as a victim soul. Without fear we could not comprehend love. We are not expected to always enjoy it. So it pleased God that, in rescuing man from the grasp of the devil, the devil should be vanquished not by power but by righteousness. In all these ways Augustine and Aquinas concluded that God’s decision to have Christ suffer to save us was good and wise. . The psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). And also could not suffering itself be a passion? And also could not suffering itself be a passion? 15:57)”. Even when we suffer, he helps us to endure. Why Does God Let Us Suffer? 8:31–32). Because of his sovereign power, Augustine and Aquinas thus concluded, God could have found another way to save us. Of course, to simply have God become man in the Incarnation was an honor beyond all telling. Or could that purpose have been achieved another way? . Did God have no other way to free men from the misery of this mortality? The everlasting glory of the way of salvation the Father chose far outweighs the horrors his Son had to endure—and the resulting grace overflows in abundance to us all. As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, Jesus “endured the cross” not because he was forced to do so, but rather “for the joy that was set before him” (Heb. And what could be more clear and evident proof of God’s great love than that the Son of God . Augustine summed it up this way: “Other possible means were not lacking on God’s part, because all things are equally subject to his power” (, 8:10). . That is why the apostle says, ‘God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’ (Rom. New replies are no longer allowed. . . Long before its scheduled release on Ash Wednesday of this year, Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ stirred sharp controversy. The question is, "Is it God's will… Here is a 2 minute lesson on how we can use our suffering: One question: how is “passions” defined? Naturally, the devil wants humans to suffer as much as possible. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. . But even then, our Lord wanted above all what the Father wanted: “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined” (Luke 22:21–22, emphasis added). Our lives can be filled with many distractions that take away our time from God and suffering and hardships in this world remind us that we cannot do it alone ‘ we need the love and grace of God which we seek and he freely gives. So it was more fitting that God should use the higher kind of might against an enemy whose perverse strategy was to use the lower kind. “There are those,” the bishop wrote, “who say, ‘What? When we suffer, God suffers with us because he loves us so overwhelmingly much. Was it not. It’s true that in Gethsemane we hear Christ crying out as his human nature recoils in horror at the prospect of such awful suffering. Of. It is possible with God’s sanctifying grace, which we receive through the sacraments. Again, as Jesus walked with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus, on the evening of the day he had risen from the dead, he rebuked the men for their lack of faith: “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! There is an element of contrast within it. . Redemptive suffering becomes a powerful means for the conversion of others–thus when you embrace your sufferings and offer them up to God as a sacrifice in union with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, your suffering becomes a powerful means of sanctification for others and the conversion and salvation of sinners. . Without suffering we could never appreciate joy. Aquinas wrote: “Just as man was overcome and deceived by the devil, so also it should be a man who should overthrow the devil. Nevertheless, as Aquinas pointed out, there’s a difference between being absolutely necessary and being necessary given certain conditions. We might still be tempted to ask: If God wanted Christ, as a representative of mankind, to defeat Satan, and Christ had available to him all the power of God, why couldn’t Christ simply crush the devil in combat? Christ’s suffering doesn’t just move us to respond in love. How could this be? humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil. Because of the Passion, then, “man is all the more bound to refrain from sin, according to 1 Corinthians 6:20: ‘You were bought with a price. There are a variety of reasons, but ultimate answer is he lets us suffer when it would be conducive to our our salvation. When we recognize the debt, we see ourselves obligated to pay it by avoiding evil—and that avoidance contributes to our salvation. . A third reason God ordained that the Passion would take place is that, through it, Christ merited a great reward. He longs to have meaningful conversations with us. If we hold that God could have chosen an alternative means to our salvation, then we seem to be left with a disturbing conclusion: God must be wicked to have willed such suffering for his Son. —John 4:23; read 1 Corinthians 10:13. From their own thoughts, a lot of the suffering is what they desire, for they see suffering as a great way to show their love. Following Jesus Christ seems like a difficult, lonely journey. The proper way to battle Satan is with the sword of the Spirit, which … Deal with difficult people. How could he possibly will such a thing if he could have fulfilled his purposes otherwise? (See also his words on the day of his ascension, Luke 24:44–46.) (RNS) It is the common impulse of people of goodwill everywhere to prevent or at least mitigate all forms of gratuitous suffering. Christ is the one who, having endured suffering, is “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Help us do more > Defenders replied that the historical event being portrayed was in fact grisly, so the portrayal could not be sanitized if it was to remain faithful to the subject matter. how is “passions” defined? There is an old expression that says, “God gives us what we need, not what we want.” The test can be anything, whether a disease, a financial storm, a relationship trial, anything that pins us against the wall or brings about suffering. He was certain that anyone who meditated for long on Christ’s Passion would experience the same overwhelming sense of faith and hope. Some say that everything that happens is God’s will. 12:2)—winning the victory he had come to achieve. It shows us how to love in a world that is broken. Aquinas admits that some scriptural texts seem to say God had no choice in the matter (cf. I … No, they insisted: Our God is indeed all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good. Because Christ is the head of the Church, his merit overflows to the members of his body. There neither was nor need have been any other means more suitable for healing our misery” (On the Trinity 8:10). For example, after declaring Peter to be the “rock,” our Lord said to the disciples: “The Son of Man. I strongly suggest that you discern whether your suffering is under your control, or not (this includes certain medical and cognitive conditions). Our salvation isn’t complete without our learning to love as God loves. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. civ). Satan, who had fallen away from God through pride, was humiliated. God had chosen the way—he had revealed it to the prophets—so this was how it had to be. And his foreknowledge of these events had already been manifested in divine revelation to the prophets and recorded in Scripture. In this loving response lies the perfection of human salvation. Many of the great Saints suffered horribly and were joyful because of it. Most of all (they say), the answer to our own suffering is found in God’s joining with us in our pain. . . 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