Day 18: Suffering for Others

Reflection by Jacquelyne Rocan

Do I offer up my sufferings for others? 

Suffering is an inevitable part of the human condition.  Ever since sin entered the world as the result of the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, we are all faced with various sufferings throughout our lives.  These sufferings manifest themselves in different ways, most often as physical illnesses, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual illnesses.  It is hard enough to suffer ourselves, but even more difficult when we watch a loved one suffer. 

My father suffered through physical illness that left him unable to work for a number of years.  He took a number of medications and treatments each day and was hospitalized multiple times.  Being unable to work was very difficult for my father.  He admitted at times that he did not believe his life had value since he was not able to work and provide for his family.  However, at some point, after a conversation with my mother, he realized that he could offer his pain and suffering for others, for the salvation of those on earth and the holy souls in purgatory.  He would bring out his prayer book and his rosary and pray.  Even in the hospital, he would have his prayer book and rosary with him. 

I saw my father unite his pain and suffering with that of Jesus and offer it for others.  It is an amazing example of faith and trust that I will always have to follow.  After my father died, my mother gave me his rosary so that I can use it to pray and offer my sufferings for others both here on earth and in the souls in purgatory that are suffering as well.  How amazing that we have the opportunity to marry our sufferings with the agony and pain that Jesus endured to redeem us, and to turn those sufferings into something beautiful for others. 

What sufferings am I experiencing that I can offer for others today?  

Thank you, God, for allowing me to offer the sufferings that I am facing to help alleviate the pain and suffering of others.  Please grant me the strength and courage to continue to pray for others, even during difficult times.  Authentically Yours.

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