Suffering

spring flower

Suffering. The word is used again and again in Scripture. Merriam-Webster defines "suffer" as "to submit to or be forced to endure."

Is there a difficult circumstance that you are being forced to endure? Christ submitted himself to intense suffering for us. We have no greater example of how to respond.

Thomas Merton1 wrote the following:

In order to suffer without dwelling on our own affliction, we must think about a greater affliction, and turn to Christ on the cross.

In order to suffer without hate, we must drive out bitterness from our heart by loving Jesus.

In order to suffer without hope of compensation, we should find all our peace in the conviction of our union with Jesus.

These things are not a matter of ascetic technique but of simple faith.

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God...Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin" (I Peter 3:18; 4:1).

In your hour of trial, look to Jesus. Dwell on His amazing sacrifice. Your heart will be filled with His love.

1 Thomas Merton, The Word of the Cross, 94.