Skip to comments.Redemptive Suffering
Posted on 03/14/2010 1:05:59 PM PDT by stfassisi
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From The words of Blessed Saint Padre Pio...
“The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.” Saint Padre Pio
Wonderful post. Thank you.
I’m sincerely confused. If the sin has been forgiven, why would there still be punishment?
Dear Friend , there is still physical death and pain while we are still in this world.
Suffering is a part of life and something that can be of great value when it is endured and united with love
Well, I have to ask - does it (Redemptive Suffering) also act, not only against “Punishment for sins” but for petitions for something good?
For example, can one who is suffering accept and offer it as part of a plea for help and protection for our country from evil leaders and their evil deeds?
I think so. Therefore, count me in. Hope the suffering isn’t more than I can bear and doesn’t hurt those I love.
My "best guess": Sin, though forgiven, still leaves its indelible trace in the world. God forgives the genuinely penitent sinner; but this forgiveness does not erase the legacy or fruits of sin that the sinner propagated by means of his sinful act, which leaves an ineffaceable mark on the course and shape of real events in the world of human experience.
The punishment that penitent sinners receive is not eternal damnation in Hell; rather, according to Catholic doctrine, the "punishment" consists of a mandatory post-death period of salutary purgation, in which the penitent soul is further perfected and hallowed, such that it can be conformed suitably with life in the heavenly kingdom to come.
Moreover, ...redemptive suffering does not gain the individual forgiveness for their sin; forgiveness results from Gods grace, freely given through Christ, which cannot be earned [i.e., by works alone].
Just some thoughts, FWTW.
I recently gently reminded my mother to “offer it up” as she is suffering in body, mind and spirit.
Suffering is not punishment, it is redemption.
I would also ask - how does one know that the acceptance of suffering is truly doing God’s will and not simply some kind of masochism?
Wish I understood as much as I
because of all the suffering I’ve put myself and others through . . . and others have put me through.
He has brought me to the place that He has enabled me to see that some of the severest suffering has been HIS MERCY.
Don’t know how to explain that.
I’m also reminded of a Heavenly visitation . . . with the person being shown through various Heavenly mansions—some of those of folks he’d known on earth, IIRC . . . some not of familiar folks.
Some were fairly modestly furnished. Some were lavishly furnished.
IIRC he remarked on the difference to his angelic guide . . . noting for example the exquisite paintings on the walls of the mansion they were in at the moment. The angel noted that THAT particular painting had cost a LOT of suffering.
And that the general differences were attributable to those who had
LAID UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN vs those who had not done much of that, at all.
Certainly,but remember, God answers prayers not in the way we always want them
imho . . .
Dysfunctional suffering is that brought on by relentlessly & stubbornly perverse rebellions, idolatries, pessimism, self-absorption, chronic gritchy-ness at God, the world and others; unthankfulness; murmmering; . . . the opposite of the fruits of The Spirit.
Dysfunctional suffering is that which is seized and fondled obsessively like an anti-teddy-bear. Where every aspect and microgram of the suffering is milked for all the self-pity and excuse for misery, wailing and whining possible.
Dysfunctional suffering is that in the midst of which the sufferer . . . instead of rebuking and resisting the enemy, the demonic forces always lurking so pervasively around such experiences . . . instead, the sufferer enters into a kind of sick dance--tossing, fondling, carressing, embellinshing the suffering in horrific ways . . . or even spiritual intercourse with them . . . unwittingly or perhaps masochistically intensifying & prolonging the suffering needlessly.
Dysfunctional suffering usually involves chronic, relentless blame--of God, others and in unfitting ways, of the self. Blame is not the same as taking responsibility, confessing and repenting; letting go and going on as best one can.
Dysfunctional suffering involves a REFUSAL to FORGIVE UTTERLY--REGARDLESS--FULLY AND FREELY AS MUCH FROM THE HEART AS POSSIBLE, BY GOD'S GRACE--AND THE DETERMINATION TO FORGIVE MORE FULLY AT THE NEXT REMEMBERANCE OF WHATEVER.
Redemptive suffering involves deeper, broader abandonment to God.
Redemptive suffering involves gracious acceptance, as best as one can, by God's Grace muster such. Not per se acceptance of satan's efforts to steal, destroy and kill--we are always called to resist the enemy vs comply with him.
Yet, at the time, for the moment, for the here, now, for this pain to this degree at this time TO CHOOSE TO TRUST GOD WITH IT AND IN IT and offer it up to Him as a sacrifice willfully chosen as an offering to Him rather than an excuse to wallow in self-pity, wail and whine.
It is an acceptance of God's sovereignty and supremacy as His greatest wisdom, Love, purpose, will in our lives whether we understand or think He's doing it all wrong, or not.
It is acceptance that . . . apart from HIm and Christ's Blood, not only would we deserve this and far more--we could not bear the tiniest fraction of the worthy consequences of our sinful affronts to Him and His Righteousness and Glory.
It is acceptance that God will deliver us from the fiery furnace of affliction or He won't--yet HE IS STILL GOD (and we are not); HE IS STILL ALTOGETHER GOOD; HE IS STILL ALTOGETHER LOVING; HE IS STILL ALTOGETHER WISE; HE IS STILL ALTOGETHER OUT FOR OUR ETERNAL GOOD AND OUR ETERNAL GLORY; HE IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME HE IS GOOD . . . and we CHOOSE IN THE MIDST OF THE FIERY FURNACE OR ON IT'S BRINK . . . TO WORSHIP AND LOVE AND TRUST HIM REGARDLESS.
It is ACCEPTANCE of our state as real and present and possibly enduring vs kicking against the pricks [in KJV Paul's terms] . . . real or imagined, human or circumstantial pricks . . . !!!!DEMANDING!!!! INSTANT (at least soonish) and thorough deliverance.
It is acceptance that we don't know everything . . . not even about ourselves and our suffering. We don't even know but the tiniest fraction of what goes into other folks' contributions to our suffering. Are they acting out of greater internal pains than our own? Multiplied by whatever unknown geometric factor above and beyond our own excruciating pains?
It is acceptance of the fact that we do not know what GREATER sufferings MIGHT have been our lot--but for the Graces and Compassionate Kindnesses of The Lord.
It is BONE MARROW ACCEPTANCE that HE IS GOD and we are not. Or, it is as close to that as He enables us yet to manage to reside in.
I have observed and experienced, that often enough . . . more often than I'd prefer . . . God seems to engineer incredible (?excruciating?) challenges that we are utterly incapable of--ON OUR OWN.
1. We cannot walk the razor blade thin line WITHOUT HIM.
2. We cannot pick the flyspecks out of the pepper and discern the good from the bad WITHOUT HIM.
3. We cannot be at PEACE in the midst of the fiery furnace WITHOUT HIM.
4. We cannot have HOPE WITHOUT HIM.
5. We cannot ENDURE TO THE END--WITHOUT HIM.
6. We cannot REDEEM THE TIME and the pain WITHOUT HIM.
7. We cannot GO ON, WITHOUT HIM.
8. We cannot OVERCOME, WITHOUT HIM.
9. We cannot BREATHE, HAVE OUR BEING, LIVE--ETERNALLY OR OTHERWISE--WITHOUT HIM.
10. We cannot know our left hand from our right hand, WITHOUT HIM.
11. We cannot LOVE, BE LOVED AND RECEIVE HIS LOVE WITHOUT HIM. Not only do we not know HOW to--we simply CANNOT even when we know some feeble bit about HOW. 12. We certainly cannot sit with Him in Heavenly places spiritually now or eternally more fully--with the enemy under our feet--WITHOUT HIM.
Redemptive suffering seems to plenty often involve seemingly mutually exclusive things--ACCEPTANCE yet RESISTING THE ENEMY and all without striving in our own strength. That anguish of heart navigating such mine fields must give some tiniest hint of what The Garden of Gethsemene was like.
IF POSSIBLE, TAKE THIS CUP . . . YET NOT MY WILL BUT THINE.
It is NOT foolishly with giddy idiocy rushing toward pain in some sort of sick masochistic orgy of insanity.
YET NOT MY WILL BUT THINE, FATHER.
Here's the wood and here's the altar, Father. Where's the sacrifice?
Ahhhhhh . . .
NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE, FATHER.
Then let your Cross and my daily cross do a thorough work, Father.
Conform me thoroughly to the image of your Son, Daddy.
RESISTANCE OF EVIL while ACCEPTING REALITY
Redemptive suffering involves ACCEPTANCE of impossible contridictions as real and releasing them to God to sort out in the present and eternally.
Redemptive suffering involves wrestling with impossibly excruciating pains and angst--asking for MORE GRACE to bear them--and receiving and cashing that Grace in as best we can to go on another second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year.
Sometimes, at some point, Redemptive suffering involves standing tall in The Lord, getting fiercely angry at satan and his forces in the situation and in The Lord's anointing and grabbing the nearest jaw bone of an ass [more likely the Word of God] and slaying a few thousand Philistines--spiritually &/or however else God would order and enable.
Redemptive suffering involves learning all we can of His Knowledge and Wisdom in the midst of it--burrowing INTO HIM by whatever inesteemable honor of sharing somehow more intimately in His incarnation by sharing however miniscuely in His suffering . . .
. . . yet not allowing satan and his forces to afflict us a second longer than is 'necessary,' whatever that can mean.
And beyond all this . . . Redemptive suffering is whatever our choices . . . the choices of those we are connected to . . . choices of mankind . . . and God's part in all the above have decreed shall be our current lot . . . until we choose and learn and apply His Redemptive solutions and ways out of our suffering.
Until then, we walk in the midst of the fiery furnace WITH HIM WHO PROMISED NEVER TO LEAVE US NOR FORSAKE US.
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!
BLESSED BE THE WORD OF THE LORD!
BLESSED BE THE WAYS OF THE LORD!
COUNT IT ALL JOY . . .
May these poor words be of some value to those in the midst of their own fiery furnaces. --Bo Xian (C) 2010
I strongly empathize with this observation, dear brother in Christ. You describe an odd, mysterious thing. But we can also think of this situation as follows: Human beings do not learn from their successes, only from their failures. And God wants us to learn. Of Him, and the splendor of His eternal Being, inviting us to fully participate in it.
bunmp to myself
Oh, dearest brother in Christ, may the Lord ever bless you for your sublime testimony and witness at post #13 of this thread!
One has to wonder by Christ bothered if men could do it for themselves and others..He may have well stayed home
Catholic teaching..... forgiven, but not paid for...Christ's cross was of no effect I guess???
Forgiven by the suffering of Christ, but not paid for?? the word redemption has a meaning ...To BUY BACK ... Christ paid the price for our sins..He purchased us with His blood ..
I don't know, armydoc. But the state of my knowledge of these matters is not the measure of them. Still it seems to me (whether canonical or not) that one cannot "through works", indulgences, or whatever, mitigate the consequences of our sins. If others suffer because of our own sinful actions, how can we escape the due measure of compensatory suffering that our sinful acts deserve?
Is the state of your knowledge regarding such matters better than mine? If so, I'm dying to hear the details.
If Christ's suffering were alone sufficient to save everyone universally, that would seem to me (crudely) analogous to the situation of banning "preexisting conditions" from underwriting consideration in health insurance. If everyone waited to purchase medical insurance until becoming desperately ill, the health insurance business would utterly collapse. The idea of "insurance" would become impossible. [I really am sorry for this clumsy metaphor; but I think it might get my point across.]
In short, Christ's suffering is on behalf of those called to love him i.e., those who "buy into Him" before the critical need. Not those who, on their death bed, finally acknowledge Him, on a sort of Pascal's Wager.... Though if the end-life testimony/appeal of such is genuinely sincere, I imagine Christ, Who is Truth and Justice, would not turn them away....
Thus Christ is not indiscriminate in His salvation. For one thing, He cannot save those who refuse Him. God's Creation is among other things an expression of divine economy....
Or so it seems to me.
I don't know whether these lines make any sense to you, armydoc. But it's the best I can do for now.
Thank you so much for writing!
Thanks for your kind reply.
I pray that your SIL and family are still recovering well and growing in the trust and stature of The Lord. May your prayers together in time and/or space enlighten all your lives in His Love.
Thanks for your kind, understanding and substantive reply.
Praise God for His faithfulness to teach us His Ways.
I’m reminded of Alice of Sharbeek who, while suffering from (medieval)leprosy, daily offered up her suffering on behalf of others.
Indeed. But only those who know and love Christ truly understand that.
The hapless clueless who willfully persist in denying/rejecting Him have no advantage from Christ's sacrifice, no share in His redemption.
Or so it seems to me. God forgive me if I'm wrong, and show me my error in thinking this way.
Ping for later reading.
The only "redemptive suffering" that merits salvation is Christ's suffering on the cross. And that suffering was payment in full for all the sins of His flock.
Roman Catholics show no understanding of the book of Hebrews (and not much of the rest of the Bible either.)
On the Advantages of Tribulations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Why Be Catholic? 3: Suffering [Ecumenical]
"Love Really Can Make Suffering Bearable": Woman with Spina Bifida
Experts at Euthanasia Symposium Stress Unity, Strategy, and the Triumph of Love over Suffering
Holy Father prays for peace and unity, encourages the suffering to trust in God
Joy-Filled Suffering, Laetare Sunday
Children 'Suffering >From Lack Of Two-Parent Family', Study Finds
Pope Says Euthanasia 'False Solution' to Suffering, Alludes to Comatose Woman's Fate
Excerpts from THE FRUITS OF HIS LOVE - The Value Of Suffering - Mother M. Angelica
Why Not You? (on suffering)
Vicar takes down crucifixion sculpture 'because it's a scary depiction of suffering'
The Value of Suffering in the Life of Christian Perfection
IN BRUSH WITH DEATH, PRIEST SHOWN HELL, PURGATORY, DEGREES OF SUFFERING
Prayers to Saint Agatha [For Those Suffering from Breast Cancer]
REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING(Catholic Caucus or by Invitation Only)
**I would also ask - how does one know that the acceptance of suffering is truly doing Gods will and not simply some kind of masochism?**
Offering it up is much better than complaining about it or constantly talking about all your pains.
BTw, pray for a friend of mine with fibromyalgia whom I fear is becoming addicted to the pain medications.
And St. Terese of Lisseux who offered up all the suffering from her tuberculosis — in slience.
Yes, her as well.
It's Christ who allows His most humble and loving to JOIN in suffering
Only the spiritually blind and prideful can not understand this type of sacrificial love
Please stop posting me!
My favorite quote from her....
"I understood that the Church has a heart, that this heart was burning with love, and that it is love alone which gives life to its members; that if this love ever became extinct, the Apostles would no longer preach the Gospel, and the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. I understood that love comprised all vocations, that love was everything, that it embraced all times and places...in a word, that it was eternal! Then, in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out; O Jesus my love...my vocation, at last I have found it...my vocation is love!" - Saint Therese of Lisieux
Then it's pointless to speak of "regeneration." Besides, the Biblewhich is your guidesays that God "will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." [Heb 8:12]
The punishment that penitent sinners receive is not eternal damnation in Hell; rather, according to Catholic doctrine, the "punishment" consists of a mandatory post-death period of salutary purgation
My understanding is that Catholic dogma considers purgation a necessity only for those who have died with some unrepentant sin, but have nevertheless been saved, since no repentance is possible after death.
From the Catholic Catechism:
In other words, the way I read it is that if you recieve the last rites, that is, before your death you confess your sins and re absolved of them, then you do not die "imperfectly purified" and your soul is not subjected to purgation.
I would agree,but I think it depends on the confession being of a truly contrite heart
How are you,dear brother?I have been praying very hard for your return to your Orthodox faith
"our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe" - 2 Chron 19:17
"for You are not partial to any" - Mat 22:16
"for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth" - Mark 12:14
"Peter said: 'I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality'" - Acts 10:34
"For there is no partiality with God" - Rom 2:11
"God shows no partiality" - Gal 2:6
Is there any other kind? Confession must include repentance, and repentance means permanent change of mind (metanoia). It isn't just saying "Gee, I'm sorry."
I am fine, SFA. Much obliged.
Truly, we Christians must also suffer as part of our redemption. Thank you dear brother in Christ for your wonderful testimony and insights!
For the Scriptures say:
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. - Romans 8:14-17
His justice is that we each individually build the scales whereby we will be each and individually measured weight by weight.
Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matt 5:7
[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin. - Hebrews 10:14-18
I don't read it that way, dear kosta. It seems to me God's justice is not to be had that cheaply. A truly penitent sinner is forgiven but that does not cancel the sinner's obligation or restitution for wrongs caused by the sin. In other words, the Lord's Justice metes measure for measure. Thus, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
Or at least this is my belief, as matters presently stand....
Sort of on the subject, this was just posted:
Obviously you did not understand my point. I was talking about the ultimate “partiality” of election; He saves those He will save based on His divine partiality.
“”It seems to me God’s justice is not to be had that cheaply. A truly penitent sinner is forgiven but that does not cancel the sinner’s obligation or restitution for wrongs caused by the sin. In other words, the Lord’s Justice metes measure for measure. Thus, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”””
I agree with the measure for measure ,but we can not rule out the possibility there could be some people that go directly to heaven after death because they have led very holy lives and “paid back the last penny” and than some for others that God allowed through reparation. I would think this is not the norm and such people are Saintly while here on earth.
Anyway,here is a great article by the late FR William Most on the measure by measure
How Redemption Operated
So Paul VI continues:”For every sin brings with it a disturbance of the universal order, which God arranged in unspeakable wisdom and infinite love.” In other words, God being Holiness itself, loves everything that is right. This was a striking idea when it first broke on the world. For the gods of Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome were not just immoral but amoral - they acted as if there were no morality at all. But Psalm 11:7 told the world: “God is sadiq [morally righteous] and He loves the things that are morally right.” Hence the notion that sin is a debt which the Holiness of God wants paid.
Against this background Paul VI continued (p. 7): “Therefore it is necessary for the full remission and reparation of sins... not only that by a sincere conversion of mind friendship with God be restored, and that the offenses against His wisdom and goodness be expiated, but also that all the goods, both personal and social, which pertain to the universal order itself, which were diminished or destroyed by sin, be fully restored, either through voluntary reparation... or through enduring penalties established by the just and most holy Wisdom of God.”
Since the chief topic of this constitution was that of indulgences, which depend on the “treasury of the Church” Paul VI put the redemption into that background. He said the “treasury of the Church is the infinite and inexhaustible price which the expiations and merits of Christ the Lord has before God....”
Simeon ben Eleazar, a Rabbi writing about 170 A.D. (Tosefta, Kiddushin 1. 14), and claiming to base himself on Rabbi Meir from earlier in the same century, gives us a striking comparison which helps to illustrate the text of Paul VI: “He [meaning “anyone”] has committed a transgression. Woe to him. He has tipped the scale to the side of debt for himself and for the world.”
The image is a two-pan scales. The sinner takes from one pan what he has no right to have. The scale is out of balance. The Holiness of God wants it righted. How do that? If he stole some property, he begins to rebalance by giving it back. If he stole a pleasure, he begins to rebalance by giving up some pleasure of similar weight.
But we kept saying “begins”. For the imbalance from even one mortal sin is infinite, an Infinite Person is offended. So if the Father wanted a full rebalance - He did not have to - the only way to achieve it would be to send a divine Person to become man. That Person could produce an infinite value. Paul VI put the redemption into this framework.
All sinners of all times took an immense weight from the two-pan scales. But Jesus gave up far more than they had stolen, in His terrible passion.
So this is the price of redemption, the rebalancing of the objective order, which the Holiness of God willed. Rom 5:8 said,”God proved His love.” Yes, if someone desires the well-being of another, and starts out to procure it, but then runs into an obstacle - if a small obstacle will stop him, the love is small. If it takes a great obstacle, the love is great. But if that love could overcome even the immense obstacle of the terrible death of Jesus, that love is immense, beyond measure. It was not only the physical pain, but the rejection by those whom He loved that hurt Him. The pain of rejection can be measured by two things: 1) how severe is the form of the rejection; 2) how great is the love for the one who is rejecting. If someone jostles me in a crowd, that is a small thing. But if he wanted to kill me, that is far worse, and if he means to do it in the most hideous way possible - then the rejection is at the peak . And what is His love?: Inasmuch as He is a Divine Person, the love is infinite; in as much as we consider the love of His human will, able to overcome such a measureless obstacle - the love is beyond measure.
Wow, that is your best post yet. Thank you.
Thanks for your humbling words.
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.
BLESSED BE THE WAYS OF THE LORD.
BLESSED BE THE WORD OF THE LORD.
Your link is worth sharing, I think:
Staten Island, NY
“Step Up to the Plate”
March 11, 2010
The Lord says I Am calling those of you who have been looked upon as the underdog to step forward and take your rightful place in My Kingdom. I am calling those of you who have been considered outcasts. I am calling those that have been mocked, scorned, shunned and abused. Those of you that have been forsaken and rejected it is now your time to step up to the plate in My Kingdom.
You have heard it said that there is a shifting, a shaking, and a changing of the guard and this is rightfully so. Have I not said in My Word that I will resist the proud and give grace to the humble? Do not feel inadequate or allow your human reasoning to dictate to you. Do not look at your circumstances in the natural. I Am about to turn things around for My glory. I will take the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Do not be concerned and wonder to yourselves how this can come to pass. For I have plans beyond mere mortal reasoning. Just trust in Me to make this shift.
Do not think that you need a podium, a pulpit or a platform to reach the multitudes. I will make a way for you to be My voice. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads I will give to you for this shall be your platform. I will use you in the highways, the byways as well as the marketplace. Do not say in your heart that you are not worthy to be used in a great magnitude. Do not see yourself as a grasshopper when I called you to be a giant slayer. I will open new and productive doors for you and I will bring you out to bring you in to what I have for you as you move forward one step at a time.
Watch and see how I will bring those of you that have been considered the underdog to the front lines. I will turn things around in your life and do things that will astound you as you step up to the plate and trust Me says the Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:26 - 29
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”.
Half expected you to say that. LOL.
PRAISE GOD FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS through this poor tool.
Thanks for your kind and humbling words.