Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lucia Counter thought for the day - Redemptive Suffering

I read with interest Not PC's thought for the day on suffering. He puts forward a quote from Ayn Rand who believes that "the work of the creators have eliminated one form of disease after another, in man’s body and spirit, and brought more relief from suffering than any altruist could ever conceive."

Suffering according to Rand is a disease, you see. The only problem is that suffering cannot be eliminated. The more you seek to avoid it, the more you lose empathy for those around you, the more selfish you become, the more useless you become to everyone around you and to yourself. So, here is an entirely different view of suffering as an antidote to Any Rand's view of suffering:
We live in a world that runs from suffering. Since the time of our youth, we have been conditioned to view suffering as an impediment to happiness. This worldview which is so imbued in our culture, tells us, that the less we suffer, the happier we will be. Yet, in the writings of the Saints, we find an entirely different reality; that it is precisely suffering that strengthens us, humbles us, and forges us into saints...

According to the Saints, when we seek to deny our wills and offer sufferings in love for Our Lord, we draw down from heaven more grace than any other action we can possibly make. In fact, the saints teach us that suffering is of such great merit, that it is greater than external works such as preaching, writing, or even working miracles. The defining moment of redemption for the human race was not when Our Lord healed the sick or preached in the synagogues. It was when the God-Man was nailed to a cross and drained of His blood out of love for mankind. We see then that there is no greater measure of our love than our willingness to follow in the footsteps of Our Redeemer, that is; our willingness to be affixed to a cross and to suffer, just as the apostles (Acts 5:41, 14:21, Rom 8:18, 2 Corinthians 12:10, etc.). By doing so, we join in the redemptive work of Christ through our sufferings (Col 1:24). We become little co-redeemers, and merit the conversion and sanctification of souls. This is the final end of suffering; the salvation of mankind. As Our Lady told the world at Fatima; "Many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice themselves and pray for them."

Related link: Redemptive Suffering
Post on Mary the Mother of God shows how suffering converted atheists (watch part 4)

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