LETTER TO A SUFFERING LOVED ONE

I know you are suffering, and it is very hard to see you suffering as you are. I cry out to our Sorrowful Mother to give me the grace that I need in seeing such a dear loved one suffer.crying Jesus comforting crying woman

How hard it is. How I would like to take this suffering from you. How I have begged God to take this suffering from you; but only in accord with His Divine and Holy Will. Because, as much as I love you, I know He loves you immeasurably more. And, in the end, He knows what is best all around. He knows the crosses you are meant to carry and the graces He’s given you to carry them.

So who am I to think I should know better. But, still, I beg Him for reprieve for you in your suffering, or that you will have the grace for the sufferings He asks of you.

Why do I have this suffering?” you may be asking God. And I assure you, He is hearing you; and, He will answer you as He sees fit. Be attentive. Your answer may come in a way you are not expecting. Be sensitive. “Be still,” so that you can hear Him speaking to you in the quiet whisper of your heart.

There is a belief among many today that if we think something hard enough it will be. And, that we must always think positive thoughts.

Yes, positive thoughts can be very good, but they should never replace reality.

There is a movement today of seeing God as merely an energy, a life-force.  And, thus we hear such things, “why should one meditate on the passion and death of Christ?”… “We must think positive thoughts. Why meditate on something so “negative”, such as suffering and death?”… “We must think of things that are life-giving.”

Always we must remember that the devil comes as an “angel of light.” He mixes truths with lies tosatan angel of light deceive us. It is true that we are called to “have life, and have it to the full”, but we must remember that we are living in a fallen world. We are not going to transform the world just by thinking it is good, or thinking it into being good and positive. Who do we give the power to in this, but ourselves.

We are but creatures of God. God is God! God is all powerful and almighty! Jesus came precisely to redeem the world, and to draw us into relationship with Him as a PERSONAL God, not an abstract energy or life-force. If we don’t open ourselves to His presence and grace, we can think positive thoughts all we want, yet we will not be redeemed by His Divine Grace.
mary and john at foot of cross 2Jesus shed His Precious Blood that we might be healed and redeemed. Jesus took on our flesh that we could be drawn into His Divinity. It is a lie to say that we are divine apart from Christ. It is only to the degree that we are surrendered to Christ and one with Christ that we take on His Divinity.

Why is it truly so positive and powerful to meditate on the passion and death of Christ? Precisely because it is only in and through the cross that we are redeemed and made whole. It is the saving power of His Crucifixion and Death that draws us into true life. It is a paradox that by meditating on the suffering and death of Christ we find hope, peace, joy and true happiness and fulfillment.

Scripture tells us, “Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a seed. But if it dies it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). This is symbolic of us. Unless we die to our human will, our self-centered ways, etc, and seek to live for God and His Divine Will, we remain just ourselves, frail, suffering, sinful creatures. But if we die to ourselves as Christ did, we find true life in our Heavenly Father and Creator.

Satan doesn’t want us to discover this “pearl of great price” (Mt 13:46) of becoming one with Christ.mother of the new evangelization This is what the whole battle between the Woman and the dragon in Revelation 12 is about. Mary who is a total creature, became fully one with Christ. She said, “Be it done unto me according to YOUR word” (Lk 1:38). She sought always God’s Divine Will in her life.

As with Christ, she didn’t seek to be freed of her suffering, but rather to be surrendered to God and disposed to His grace amidst it.

Pope St. John Paul II tells us in his apostolic letter on Redemptive Suffering:

“In order to discover the profound meaning of suffering . . . we must above all accept the light of revelation. . . . Love is also the fullest source of the answer to the question of the meaning of suffering. This answer has been given by God to man in the cross of Jesus Christ” (SD 13)

“In Christ… God has confirmed his desire to act especially through suffering, which is man’s weakness and emptying of self, and he wishes to make his power known precisely in this weakness and emptying of self.” (SD 23)

“Down through the centuries and generations it has been seen that in suffering there is concealed a particular power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ, a special grace. To this grace many saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and others, owe their profound conversion. A result of such a conversion is not only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as it were, of his entire life and vocation.” (SD 26)

May we all have the grace to turn to God with child-like hearts amidst our present sufferings, whatever they may be, with the trusting and surrendered disposition of Jesus and Mary.Jesus in garden with consoling angel

Just remember, a trusting and surrendered disposition doesn’t mean we repress our feelings, but rather that we are fully open in sharing with God our struggles… and, if inspired, we even cry out with Jesus, “Father, take this cup from me! … yet Your will be done” (Lk 22:42).

(by Lilla Marie Lottinger)

 

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20 thoughts on “LETTER TO A SUFFERING LOVED ONE

  1. Kay Stoufflet says:

    Lilla, You always seem to send what I need, at just the right time. Thanks for this reminder, and for your obedience in sending this message out. When I send out prayer requests, it brings comfort to the ones who are suffering and their families. Hopefully these prayers will cause the ones who are suffering to turn to Jesus, and possibly they are turning, a little, by requesting the prayers. I will attempt to share the message you have sent with them. God’s blessings, Kay

    1. admin says:

      Thank you dear Kay… blessings to you :)!

  2. Bill Ten Eyck says:

    Wonderful! Thank you for spreading the Message of the Gospel.

    Pax Christi.

    1. admin says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Bill!

  3. Tricia says:

    Beautiful! So true.

  4. john rice says:

    We are put on this earth to suffer, its not a holiday home and should not be regarded as such, we must work very hard to stay out of the devils way ,he is always waiting for a chance to bring us down to his LOW level,trust in god always
    and he will never let us down, Amen

  5. Horacio Gonzalez says:

    Thank you dear Lilla Marie, The Lord and His Mother are using you in Love

    1. admin says:

      Blessings to you dear Horacio :)… Thank you!

  6. Connie Crosbie says:

    Dear Lilla,

    As I battle with Lymes Disease I have either met those who remind me that my pain is not as bad as theirs or that my pain is worse than theirs. I do not subscribe to either theory. Rather, I believe that my pain is just different from theirs as theirs is from mine. The pain each of us suffers is uniquely different as each wound on the Body of Christ is different. As Christ suffers many differing pains so does his “body” i.e. us. We might think ourselves apart/alone from others in our suffering but that is not the way God intended it to be. He gave us Jesus so that we may be united in our sufferings by uniting our sufferings to His. I believe this to be the true definition of “empathy”. What better way to be empathetic than to unite all of our sufferings to that of our dear Redeemer? In this way all suffering is unified in the suffering of Jesus and thereby sanctified. How much He loves us to grant such a union! I know this may sound counter-intuitive to some, masochistic to other and to some just plain crazy; however, when we choose to unite our pain with that of Christ’s pain then ours does not seem so useless or difficult to bear. When we suffer with Christ then He stands beside us to help us to embrace the Cross. Like Simeon, as you bear the Cross of salvation uniquely carved for you, stare into the eyes of Jesus and know that you are not alone. No, my cross is not worse or easier than yours. Rather, it is different as it is an original piece of art sculpted by the Savior for me. What a gift!

    Peace in our Eucharist Lord,
    Connie

    1. admin says:

      Dear Connie,
      Thank you for your beautiful sharing :)… Thank you for the way you suffer for so many. You truly have a gift of writing. No doubt He is using you in a special way as you unite with Him in all that He’s asking of you. So glad that you are uniting with us in our mission… Love and prayers! lm

    2. Jill says:

      Dear Connie, what a testimony of truth. Your words are encouraging and anointed. My prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Connie says:

        Dear Jill, thank you for your kind words and prayers. I hope all is well with you and your family. God bless

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  8. Roen Garretson says:

    I can’t help but to reread this article again and again. So beautifully written, loved the pictures too! I know that God will never give me more than I can handle. And through all the pain, I have slowly come to realize that He is the only answer and true source of joy. I truly believe that we must experience suffering to understand how much we need Him. How awesome it is to be able to depend on someone who will never let me down! GOD IS GREAT! He’ll get me through, I have faith love and miss you two! Roen Garretson

  9. Charles Zadigian says:

    To help someone that is suffering to help them to carry there cross is a blessing . . When someone else suffers we all suffer along with them . . + Charles Zadigian

  10. Jill says:

    Thank you for this insightful article. May Father bless the works of your hands. I pray blessings over you and Sister Mary Claire and may Father continue to reveal His truth to you and others.

    1. mome says:

      Thank you, Jill, for asking the Father to bless the works of our hands! He has blessed us tremendously! I pray blessings over you as well, my friend…

  11. Charlane says:

    Wonderful piece!! Made me really look within!!!

    1. mome says:

      Amen Charlane! Glad it was a blessing to you. Thanks for sharing :)!

  12. Dora says:

    That’s a subtle way of thknniig about it.

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