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 ..