Why Suffering is the BEST gift from God?

“Usually, one gets a heavier cross when one attempts to get rid of an old one.”
– St. Edith Stein, OCD

This quote from St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) is probably one of the most intriguing quotes I ever read from a saint. St. Edith was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Christianity and became a Discalced Carmelite nun.

In these trying times, suffering is very common and prevalent to our society because of the COVID19 pandemic, monkeypox, Russia-Ukraine war and a brewing war between China and Taiwan not to mention all our personal struggles to make ends meet. I want to make it short and sweet and tell you, there are 3 things you can do to feel better amidst all these namely, – PRAY, HOPE and DON’T WORRY. – sounds like St. Padre Pio, OFMCap. Isn’t?

God, in the person of Jesus experienced sufferings when he was on earth – he mourns when someone dies (Ezekiel 18:23, John 11:35), he was betrayed by his friends (Luke 22:21), he was tempted (Matthew 4) and ultimately died on the Cross (Luke 9:22). He was no stranger to our struggles; he knew how it feels like to be human too. Our suffering is our own cross, it could be your struggles with anxiety or depression, nagging wife, disrespectful son, ungrateful daughter, alcoholic husband, unemployment, uncomfortable quality of life etc.

Our suffering is our own cross

However, should we desire to get rid of these without truly submitting everything to God (1 Peter 5:6) we will end up frustrated as we have failed to understand God’s will for us, hence, it will get heavier. We must carry our crosses as it helps us to sanctify our souls to be more worthy of heaven, as the Lord says: “24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24). Suffering is a gift, an anointing, a qualifier, a test prepping us for that beatific vision experience with God.

On a personal note, If I could suffer more here on earth, I would prefer it rather than suffer on the other side (purgatory). Suffering is the very best gift he has to give us. He gives it only to His chosen friends – St. Therese of Liseux, OCD.

Oh, Adorable Lord and Savior Jesus,
You have suffered death on the cross fop our sins.
Oh, Holy Cross of Jesus, be my true light!
Oh, Holy Cross, fill my soul with good thoughts.
Oh, Holy Cross, ward off from me all things that are evil.
Oh, Holy Cross, ward off from me all dangers
and deaths and give me life everlasting!
Oh, Crucified Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me now and forever.
Oh, Adorable Lord and Savior Jesus,
You have suffered death on the cross fop our sins.

Written by: JC Recto, OP