Friday, May 3, 2013

"Offer It Up." Just Do It?


Suffering is a great mystery of life. It has taken me many years to realize that I can't find a solution, an idea that would enable me to grasp it all in my mind, somehow, so that the fact of suffering wouldn't bother me anymore. But Hegel's "speculative Good Friday" does not exist. We can't think suffering away. We can only bring it to the real Jesus, and offer it in union with His real and all-encompassing suffering, through which God gives Himself to us and works in us.

Suffering is a mystery of love. Jesus has embraced it with His infinite Love, and calls us to join Him in offering our own sufferings. Jesus is already inside the depths of our particular sufferings, and He is calling us to embrace His love for us right there, in all that is obscure and disjointed and incomprehensible in each of us. We can't understand it or fix it, and that's not the point. We must offer it. We must let Him transform it into His love for the Father.
Jesus, I offer you my sufferings, especially all the pain that I can't understand. I offer You all my afflictions of mind and body and circumstances. I offer You the deep sorrow that comes from recognizing my own failure, my weakness, my broken humanity. Then there is all this inner pain that I seem to inflict on myself and I don't understand why. I offer You that pain too. Have mercy on me, a sinner.

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