Suffering entered the world at the time that man by rejecting the kingdom of the Divine Will because of his disobedience, was expelled from Paradise. Suffering manifested by the mighty hand of God, that not wanting to destroy the creature completely, he provided a way of atoning for their sins and so being able to enter into his kingdom by accepting His Divine Will.
Because of sin the Lord said:
Gen 3:16-23 Genesis chapter three verses sixteenth to twenty three:
16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
17 And to the man he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, about which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.
As sons of disobedience, we all have to face the hardships of life, we are even born with tears and crying, we live a life inflicted by suffering and die with pain and tears.
All human beings by nature feel disgust for pain and we are bothered by what we donít like and reject the suffering because we want to enjoy life and accumulate wealth for our well being.
But our desires contaminated by self - love look for good things for the body and self-esteem while we put our souls in danger, mortal danger by sin.
God in his goodness has given us suffering to serve as medicine that makes us feel his strong hand upon us, that strength that while we resist cannot win, but it has the medicine to give us humility and make us worthy of the kingdom of Heavens. In that acceptance of the Divine Will of God from which all good and evil come, is also the way of our salvation.
God is love (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
And that son of God came into the world with the sole purpose of saving us through his humiliation, suffering and death on the cross.
And if God so loves his son, who never committed sin, sent him to suffer on earth, it is very clear that with the same right as Creator he has sent us to the world to know suffering as a way to imitate his son Jesus and so to come to obedience or the divine will.
Christ's sufferings were not the normal sufferings that we humans have, but were the sufferings of the God-man, which exceed the suffering of all human beings together.
Isaiah fifty-three, verses one to twelve. (Isaiah 53: 1-12) It says
1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
6 All we, like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.
9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
This was what happened to Jesus, he accepted the will of His Father and suffered to obtain forgiveness of our sins. In the same way, his Blessed Mother Mary accompanied Jesus in all his sufferings, being immaculate and without sin she suffered at the side of his son to become the martyr of martyrs.
She suffered many sorrows during her life, of those are outstanding the seven sorrows honored by the Holy Mother Church, they are.
1 First. The prophecy of Simeon, which came to this mother at the age of fifteen, with her newborn son in her arms, like a sword that pierced her heart, because she had knowledge of the passion, agony and death of her son Jesus before that actually happened.
2 Second. The flight into Egypt. The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph had to flee during the night with her little infant who was already persecuted to death by King Herod, they suffered during the long journey and then in their life of exile as refugees in Egypt.
3. Third. The loss of the Child Jesus and his finding in the temple, this time the Virgin Mary suffered bitterly for the loss of her beloved son, the light of her For three days she experienced the future bitterness that she would suffer after the death of Jesus.
4 Fourth. The Virgin Mary meets with Jesus on the road to Calvary. Here the Virgin Mary joins the sufferings of Jesus during his passion.
5 Fifth. Crucifixion, agony and death of Jesus. Here Our Sorrowful Mother, the Virgin Mary in her soul suffers in parallel all the sufferings of Jesus, and She offers herself to the Father united to His Son as co-redeemer of the world.
6 Sixth. Mary receives the body of Jesus when he is taken down from the cross. What deep pain experiences our sorrowful mother seeing her son lifeless, torn by the fury of the passion that fell on him, the victim offered to the Father for the forgiveness of our sins.
7 Seventh. Jesus is taken to the sepulcher. Our sorrowful mother suffers extreme pain. She would rather remain enclosed in that grave if possible, how much bitterness, that of the Mother of Sorrows until the time of the resurrection of her Son.
We are all invited to share these sorrows of Jesus and Mary, yes. Every time we have a suffering we sh ould join it to those sufferings and offer them to the Eternal Father in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world.
Now we can understand how true is the saying "where will the ox go, where It doesnít plow" We will always have suffering.
And human beings are so much opposed to suffering that they even blaspheme saying:
"God does not exist" if he did, how come, he sends us diseases, how is it that he allows suffering even in babies, with cancer and other afflictions? how is it that he allows many to be born in a world full of hunger, wars, plagues, evil and suffering? where is God when there are earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, natural disasters, poverty and so much more? How is that while some live in opulence and health, others suffer so much poverty and disease? Why it is that God allows suffering to the helpless, the homeless, those who are born blind, deaf or with any physical or mental disability?
And Jesus tells us in Matthew, chapter sixteen, verse twenty four: Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
We see then, how God the Father imposed suffering on his son in order to save us on the cross, and Jesus calls us to deny ourselves, that is, to forget our desires to accept the will of God. Jesus asks us to take up the cross to follow him. And of course Jesus is calling us to accept all sufferings; they are nothing else than the will of God, the humble way back to his heavenly home.
Our suffering is union with Christ when we accept it, and it is atonement for sins both our own and those of many other people when we offer it.
Hebrews chapter five, verse eighth tells us that although Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience through his sufferings. (Hebrews 5: 8)
This teaches us that only through suffering we will learn to accept the will of God and be obedient.
Suffering has accompanied humanity since the beginning. We see how Joseph was sold by his brothers and he suffered for his family, but his suffering was able to help them later.
Moses too, suffered dragging the Hebrew people, fighting for their salvation.
King David also suffered fighting for the Kingdom of Israel.
The prophets suffered proclaiming the word of God and were killed for their beliefs.
Jesus came into the world, together with his mother suffered poverty, suffered criticism from his family, persecution from the Jews and finally suffered his passion, agony and death on the cross.
We see how through the suffering of parents, children receive food and shelter, education and a future.
All sufferings attain fruits, not only physical and temporal, but spiritual and eternal
No pain, no gain. Without sacrifice there is never benefit, this is the way God has foreseen it. And man is destined to suffer in imitation of Christ, whether He likes it or not. The true Christian receives suffering as a pledge of salvation, he who is not a Christian is angry with suffering, adversity and calamity.
So powerful is suffering spiritually, that combined with prayer and fasting overcomes demons (Matthew 17:21)
One must understand that not all crosses are given by God, since there are many that we seek and get ourselves, and this happens because we leave the Will of God.
The sacrifice that we offer to God is only accepted on the cross that he gives us, through what is given to us by his will and not ours, because many sufferings are not given by God but we seek or find them, not on the cross given by his will but on the cross given by Satan, in the yoke of sin that within his attractions germinates suffering and death.
For example, as a result of adultery, families begin to suffer a cross given by Satan, such as separation, family violence, disease and much more. Because of sin and witchcraft many people suffer crosses or sufferings inflicted by the devil, such as diseases, depression, evil influences and other things that do not come from God.
Look for example, the case of a man who is separated from his wife, he loses the love of his family and his relationship with God; he begins carrying the yoke of Satan. In the same way, a young woman who falls into the sin of fornication, conceives a son who will give her sufferings all her life, her sin comes combined with the yoke of Satan; but God in His mercy can turn bad into good and that suffering accepted and offered to God can reverse the evil of the devil and bring the conversion and salvation of the soul.
The suffering sent by God is acceptance of His Divine Will, is a light burden and a soft yoke. And although that can eventually bring us death, is the desire of God to bring us purified by suffering at the altar of his Kingdom.
The suffering that God sends us should not become bitterness, because this will deprive us of the grace of God, it turns the cross into contempt for the will of God, it closes our ways and resists God's work in our lives. Just as the clay does not resist the hand of the potter, we must not resist the cross which purifies and sanctifies. When we resist the cross with bitterness, it becomes heavier, however when we accept it with resignation, we please God by His Holy Will.
(Hebrews 12:15) Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a large number.
When we receive suffering we are receiving a gift from God although it may not look so, since through suffering many parents have raised their children, many people have achieved successes in life through suffering, many martyrs glorified God with their suffering and they attained not only their salvation but the salvation of many souls.
Suffering and the cross are not options we can take, as the bread of life is also served to us with the chalice of pain. There has not been any human being who has not experienced pain. And remember that this is part of the punishment that God gave man when he threw him out of Paradise because of sin. The only place of eternal joy is Heaven and we have to win it through the acceptance of the will of God, which in a few words is the suffering that He sends to purify us.
Some choose to avoid suffering. So young people avoid the commitment and suffering of marriage and live together instead. Some parents, to avoid having suffering raising a new child, prefer to have an abortion, sick people donít want to suffer and decide for euthanasia, those who feel unfit to carry the cross of life opt for suicide. But, to avoid pain here on earth brings painful consequences after death, perhaps the eternal punishment of hell.
Jesus' suffering was transformed into our Salvation and in glory to God the Father, in the same way He receives our sufferings when we offer them, and transforms them spiritually to save us and to give us a crown of glory.
To suffer is to imitate Christ who was the man of sorrows, to unite our pain to the pain of Christ is to have a sacrifice and oblation to unite to the sacrifice of Jesus that gives us salvation.
Whoever is not crucified with Christ is not worthy of Him, because the cross perfects the heart.
Suffering is the true secret to attain eternal happiness, so Jesus says that the seed grain must die, and our soul is like a grain, which through tribulations, sufferings and daily crosses finally manages to die to give merit to the soul and to purify it for eternal life, producing the fruit that is achieved in union with Christ.
Blessed is the soul that receives suffering in silence and resignation, as this is how humility grows before the Will of God.
Without suffering we can not build our treasure in heaven, every little cross we welcome, becomes our crown of light and glory.
With our sufferings in Christ we are also raised before the Father to rise from the dust of the earth to the glory of the Spirit.
The sufferings we receive are our cross, they are like fire that burns and purifies gold in the crucible, cleaning all impurity that contaminates the soul, to make it resemble the image of Jesus Christ.
As Christ sacrificed on the cross for all of us, so we also receive a portion of the cross in our daily sufferings to present them to God as living sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving, worship, intercession and reparation.
The shortest way to acquire the peace that comes from the love of God, inexhaustible source of virtues, is accepting all the tribulations, whether temporal or spiritual, infirmities, strokes of fortune, problems and any adversity.
In suffering and our daily cross we find the medicine of hope and resignation, the power of the Will of God that can bring out the good from the bad.
God proposes the cross to us as the means of our salvation.
But what is the proposition of the devil to man?
What the devil suggests is hedonism instead of suffering, man doesnít have to suffer, to obey is to suffer; thatís the same proposal he made to Eve, a lie: disobey and be like God. The devil suggests pleasure, an easy life without sacrifice; he suggests paradise on earth without God. The devil proposes that we move away from the cross and virtue, and this is why God has given power to the Holy Name of Jesus and the Holy Cross to crush his head, Jesus is our way, not a broad road, but a narrow and difficult path, full of sufferings and struggles, but at the end it opens the door of Heaven. Satan offers us a wide road, away from suffering and the cross where the end is the gate of hell.
The new world order promoted by Freemasonry speaks of a world full of hope, such as love and brotherhood among peoples, a freedom that is rather debauchery, a common religion without God, where Jesus Christ, God and man no longer has any value, he is as equal as any of the prophets of other religions. This lie of the devil is a series of false promises that aspire to take away our faith in Christ and His cross, a new religion where the head will be the Anti Christ and its God will be the devil himself.
This is why we must keep ourselves alert, let us bless the sufferings we receive to unite them to the sufferings of Christ and His Blessed Mother because in them we have the promised salvation, let us fast and do penance, because the times of tribulation are here with us.
Let us eat the body and blood of Christ, let us eat of his suffering and together with him letís wait hopefully with that final meeting of our lives with the author of creation.
God loves us, let us have faith.
Suffering - The cross. Jesus suffered for our sins.