From Suffering to Grace

Photo: Catholic Vote

 “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort-
you were made for greatness.” -Pope Benedict

At times, it can be very hard to believe that “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” as Paul claims in today’s second reading. When we face the most difficult moments in our lives, times of sickness, bad fortune, or sorrow, we often question why we must suffer. Although I know, as a Christian, that I am called to follow Christ in the path of suffering and sacrificial love, my natural desire is for the blessings of good health and happiness.

It truly takes God’s supernatural grace and strength, and the gifts of understanding, wisdom, and the light of the Holy Spirit, to find the treasure hidden away in our suffering. If we accept our crosses in union with the suffering of Christ, seeking God’s will even in times of distress, then we will find true joy, the pearl of great price, and the way to the kingdom of heaven will be revealed.

We, as Christians, have been called, chosen, and predestined for Christ. This is not an easy road, but it is the narrow road that leads to eternal glory with the Lord. The cross, the instrument of death and torture, has been transformed by Christ into the tree of life. When you are facing suffering and hard times, and find yourself questioning, “Why me, why this, why now?” remember that Jesus is with you always: Jesus, who suffered to show us the way. Fear not, because God, who overcomes death and gives eternal life, will transform every drop of our suffering in this world into good in the end, to bring us all together with Him in eternity, in the kingdom of heaven, our final destiny.