Why does God allow suffering? If there is a God then why is the suffering? Many of us have grappled with these questions when we have undergone suffering s or witness the pain and sufferings of others. What is the purpose of suffering in the context of Catholic Spirituality?
The seventh and FINAL video of the 7-part DIVINE LENTEN 2015 WEEKLY VIDEO REFLECTION SERIES at the top of this post "SUFFERING – SHARING IN THE CROSS OF JESUS” by Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C., Director of Divine Retreat Centre Muringoor, Kerala, India affirms with holy wisdom what the true value of suffering in our lives means.
Fr. Augustine shares, “In the Gospel of Matthew 16:21-16, Jesus is inviting every one of us to accept the thoughts of God. Jesus makes a distinction between the way God thinks and man thinks. The context was the prediction that Jesus made of His own Passion, Suffering and Death. Simon Peter could not accept what Jesus was saying!’
“When sufferings overwhelm us, when problems and difficulties come our way, it is then that satan will possess our way of thinking. Then our thinking will be merely human and often satanic. The Lord said to Simon Peter, ‘You are thinking as man thinks. Your thoughts are not Divine!: When suffering comes our way, how do we think?”
With Spirit-filled clarity, Fr. Augustine explains that “there are 3 human trends of thinking in our moments of sufferings:”
“1 – We try to avoid Suffering.”
“2 – We are angry at God.”
“3 – We get depressed and believe our God is a punishing God”
“What does the Catholic Church teach about ancestral curses?” Fr. Augustine’s exhorts us to remember, “The Word of God is clear, Romans 8:1. ‘If you are in Christ jesus, you are not under a curse!’ When suffering comes our way, we must keep our hearts clean for God’s thoughts to flow into us.”
“What is the ‘Divine thought’ on Suffering?
“Let every Suffering be taken from the Hands of Jesus. I suffer – Yes! All of us will, all of us have to. Let it be an act of love! I take it from my Jesus as a share in the Cross of Jesus.”
Fr. Augustine challenges every Catholic to accept our suffering with a 'Divine mind-set'. “When a Suffering comes your way, it is a Call not a curse! A Call to be a co-saviour with Jesus!”
Please do share this last video of our Divine Lenten 2015 Weekly Video Reflection series with your loved ones, prayer groups and friends to make this sacred season of Lent a blessed one.
Wishing each of you and your families a Blessed Holy Week!