Suffering Exists So That We Can Love

In today’s society with the internet and instant communication, we learn about the worst suffering all around the world when it happens:  tsunami in Japan, famine in the horn of Africa, suicide bombers in Afghanistan, church bombings in Nigeria, and more.

Why does God let all this happen?  He is giving us a chance to love.  Love isn’t simply an emotion, it is an act of the will; it is what you do.

“I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; naked and you covered me; sick and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.”  This is how Jesus described the just at the last judgment.  They were confused and asked when they did these things.  Jesus replied to them that when they did any of these things for the least of His brethren, they did it for Him.

We can’t help clean up the mess in Japan, unload sacks of rice in Somalia, or comfort the grieving in Afghanistan or Nigeria, but we can look around our own town to see where we can help alleviate suffering.  We can volunteer to distribute food or clothing at Catholic Charities.  Help out at the John 3:16 Mission.  Visit lonely residents at an old folks’ home.  Become a big brother or big sister.  Go through the closet and donate clothes to charity.  Maybe these examples aren’t like Mother Teresa who took in the untouchables lying in the streets of Calcutta, cared for them, held their hands, and stayed with them at their hour of death, so they wouldn’t die alone or like Saint Damien of Molokai who served the lepers in Hawaii.  But by doing even small things out of love for others, you are doing them out of love for Christ, not only as described in Matthew 25:35-40, but also, since your are baptized into the body of Christ, you are acting on behalf of Christ, showing others the love Christ has for them.

Pain, suffering, and misery will always be with us.  They are all opportunities God gives us to love like the saints.  For those suffering in other parts of the world, we can donate money to worthy charities such as Doctors without Borders or Food for the Poor, but more importantly, pray a rosary for them.

Published in: on September 3, 2012 at 00:06  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you. There are so many opportunities for us to be Christ for others. We just have to be open to all the possibilities.

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