Prayer and Suffering

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“Be apostles, like him [St. Padre Pio, who modelled his life on the Divine Master], of prayer and suffering!”

– Pope St. John Paul II, addressing the “Servants of Suffering,” Dec 2, 2004

“You cannot conceive,” said Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez, “how great is the reparatory value of suffering.” Suffering, you see, nourishes and perfects love, and it is love alone that has any value in God’s eyes; it is love alone that save souls.

Do not think that “suffering” means unpleasantness. Quite the contrary. It may be the case that certain sufferings are unpleasant to bear; but our God is the God of joy. “Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.” (Bl. Dom Columba Marmion) The Cross is necessary to perfect our love, which is the cause of our joy. Here is a simple formula to remember this truth:

  1. Charity (love) unites us to God, the Source of joy.
  2. Suffering nourishes and perfects love, thereby uniting us more intimately to God.
  3. Therefore suffering nourishes and perfects joy.

Bl. Charles de Foucauld, most likely moved by love and humility, sometimes felt guilty that he was the unworthy recipient of such intense joy. He wanted to suffer like and for his Saviour. But, like Bl. Charles, we must remember that joy is a fruit of love; we can no more refuse this gift of God than a flower can refuse its fruit.

‘And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience trial; and trial hope; And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.’ (Rom. 5:3-5)

If we suffer, let us praise God; if we experience joy, let us praise Him!

***

Joy is still compatible with sorrow; don’t think that our union with God can be measured by feelings:

https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/joy-in-the-spiritual-life-q-a/

***

“Prayer, all prayer,” says Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, “is always efficacious. But prayer takes on extraordinary power to win graces, for the one praying and for all mankind, when it is united with patient suffering.”

Next time you suffer or make a sacrifice – be it ever so little – do it for God alone (and by extension, for souls, who are so dear to Him). “God and souls.” (St. Faustina)

Some Powerful Quotes About Prayer and Suffering

“You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

 “… by it [suffering] many more souls are saved than by the best of sermons.” – Little St. Therese (on the day of her canonization) to Servant of God Teresa Neumann

“It is blindness to avoid pain even in very small things, for not only is it of great worth to ourselves, but it serves to guard many from the torments of Hell.” – Sr. Josefa Menendez

“You know that sin is an infinite offense and needs infinite reparation . . . that is why I ask you to offer up your sufferings and labors in union with the infinite merits of My Heart. You know that My Heart is yours. Take It, therefore, and repair by It.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

 

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4 thoughts on “Prayer and Suffering

  1. Ben, I think you have many readers. I am noticing though if I try to “like” something it takes me to a place to register. Then I’m not allowed to register. There is a glitch I believe in the website. I have tried to “like” several articles before as well as register before and I just can’t get through. I’m 63 and not a techie so maybe I’m doing it wrong. I have been able to participate in other blogs though, and there seems to be a problem.

    Like I said, I think you have many readers and many who would like to respond but can’t. I figured you wouldn’t know there might be a problem unless I told you. Ben, your website is simply stellar. I love the quotes. Thank you thank you thank you!!! God bless you Julie

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. This website is so rich with exactly what my beggar soul needs. Thank you!! The Joy of the cross. Such a hard concept in a society sated with everything imaginable. Joy/Sorrow Q&A article was also very timely for me. I am so appreciative!!

    Passion Reflections
    Because I am no longer able to work, God has called me to contemplative prayer as we have entered the Storm. During this time I have been asked to appreciate more fully the Passion of Christ. This is the skeleton of what I have seen and think about for the last couple of years each time I pray The Sorrowful Mysteries. It is essentially the same, but always different and beautiful, in that I am able to disappear into the scenes throughout the rosary, seeing something more each time. The whole exercise takes anywhere from one to three hours. I have been instructed during this time to use my fingers instead of beads, and to use my arms to pull into my heart all unsaved souls. I am reminded that the events taking place, during these Sorrowful Mysteries, are all acts of reparation, done on the part of Jesus, who by His every thought, word, and action is, during each and every rosary, making amendment to the Father for the sins of the world, past, present, and future included. Every evil act on the part of human beings from the beginning of time is being replaced by Jesus Himself with Divine acts of Righteousness and Holiness, so that every soul seeking God can be saved. Because there are so many places where I lose myself in the images and scenes, I sometimes worry that I am deceiving myself and that I am not even praying at all! Then I am reminded by God that EVERYTHING (actions and intention to pray) are all acceptable gifts to Him. Holy Spirit, animate and direct us all! Mother of God, through your most Immaculate Heart, make our intention of prayer and our prayerful actions, all pleasing to your Son. Lead us all into His Sacred Heart. Amen

    THE FIRST SORROWFUL MYSTERY
    The Agony In the Garden.

    EL PRIMER MISTERIO DOLOROSO
    La agonía en el jardín.

    Dios te salve, Maria. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, y defundir el efecto de gracia de tu Llama del Amor, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

    Flame of Love Devotion. Version of the Ave Maria (which blinds Satan from seeing us) given by the Blessed Mother to Elizabeth Kindelman.

    1. Jesus feels in His bowels the sickening heaviness of our sins. Jesus now repairs for Adam and Eve’s rejection of God’s Divine Will in the Garden of Eden, and for each rejection of God’s Divine Will since then.
    2. He is nauseated and overwhelmed. A cold sweat breaks over His Sacred Flesh. As He feels mortal dread, He is repairing for each mortal sin ever committed.
    3. He experiences the Father’s intense love for mankind. It feels as if His blood, this fiery fierce Love, is boiling in His veins. Jesus repairs for all crimes against Love. For all hatred expressed toward others.
    4. He tells the disciples to pray. The bargaining begins and Jesus falls to the ground. He begs the Father “LET THEM ALL BE SAVED!”. Jesus repairs for our selfish, secular living.
    5. He finds his disciples asleep and asks them to stay awake and pray. The Father reminds Jesus of His Justice. Jesus falls to the ground, inconsolable, “Father, please! NOT ONE SOUL! LET NOT ONE SOUL BE LOST.” He repairs for our murmuring, complaining, and lack of resolve.
    6. He falls on the ground again, covered in bloody sweat. Mercy and Justice meet with a tremendous collision within the Divine Person of Jesus. Jesus is the Father’s Mercy. He repairs for spiritual arrogance, and hatred of God’s Divine Will.
    7. Bloody drops of sweat run down Jesus’ brow. He hears in His ears the accusations of the Pharisees. “Father!” He moans, as He amends for HIS OWN CHOSEN PEOPLE WHO WILL REJECT THEIR MESSIAH.
    8. Jesus paces and falls repeatedly to the ground begging for souls. His closest disciples, in their grief, fall back asleep. The Spirit roils within Him. The Father and the Son in LOVING conversation. Justice and Mercy agree and He amends for HIS MOST BELOVED CONSECRATED SONS WHO WILL ABANDON HIM
    9. The enemy whispers in His ear “Your life means nothing!” After all He did, all He will suffer, who will appreciate or understand Jesus’ message? Who will even care if He ever lived? See the Gentiles among whom I number, depreciate and trivialize poor Jesus who keeps amending for our acts of laziness, OUR INDIFFERENCE TO WHAT HE WENT THROUGH ON OUR BEHALF, our unloving, lukewarm lives.
    10. Jesus rebukes the enemy’s lies and says a third time “Let it be done to Me, Oh Father, according to Your Divine Will, and not Mine”. He is betrayed with our many kisses. Jesus repairs for all our acts of HYPOCRISY, duplicity and feigned religiosity.

    Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y
    al Espíritu Santo. Como era en el principio, ahora
    y siempre, por los siglos de los siglos. Amén.

    (FATIMA Prayer – Oh mí Jesús, perdónanos nuestros pecados, nos puede salvar de los fuegos del infierno, lleva todas las almas al cielo, especialmente aquellas en las más necesitadas de tu misericordia. Amen)
    _______________________
    THE SECOND SORROWFUL MYSTERY
    The scourging at the pillar.
    EL SEGUNDO MISTERIO DOLOROSO
    Azotar en el pilar.
    Padre nuestro que estás en el cielo, santificado sea tu Nombre, venga tu reino, hagase tu voluntad, asì en la tierra como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día, y perdóna nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos á los qúe nos ofenden. No nos dejes caer en tentación, y líbranos de mal. Amen

    Dios te salve, Maria. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, y defundir el efecto de gracia de tu Llama de Amor, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

    (Jesus is methodically stripped of His Sacred Flesh. He ends up on the ground gasping in His own Sacred Blood, all the while, making reparations for both perpetrators and all victims of sins of the flesh)
    1. The virginal blush as Jesus is stripped. (Immodest dress)
    2. Human trafficking in Russia and Europe
    3. In China and Japan
    4. In Mexico and Central America
    5. In South America and Africa (Boko Haram)
    6. In New York
    7. In Los Angeles and “sin city” (Las Vegas)
    8. In San Francisco,
    9. Sins of pornography, lustful sexuality/sodomy and adultery everywhere.
    10. Sins of pedophilia, rape, and incest.

    Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y
    al Espíritu Santo. Como era en el principio, ahora
    y siempre, por los siglos de los siglos. Amén.
    Oh mí Jesús perdónanos nuestros pecados, nos puede salvar de los fuegos del infierno, lleva todas las almas al cielo, especialmente aquellas en las más necesitadas de tu misericordia. Amen
    ________________________
    THE THIRD SORROWFUL MYSTERY
    The crowning of thorns.
    EL TERCER MISTERIO DOLOROSO
    Coronar de espinas.
    Padre nuestro que estás en el cielo, santificado sea tu Nombre, venga tu reino, hagase tu voluntad, asì en la tierra como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día, y perdóna nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos á los qúe nos ofenden. No nos dejes caer en tentación, y líbranos de mal. Amen

    Dios te salve, Maria. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, y defundir el efecto de gracia de tu Llama de Amor, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

    (Reparations for the gross perversions which Satan has wreaked upon whole societies, once made up of honorable people and their families, which are now corrupt or compiled of gangs and mobs; and for the anguish, that this abuse of God’s intention for mankind, has brought to the mind of Christ)
    1. For Holiness in Supreme Court and of US politicians.
    2. Holiness for Putin/Russia and Kim Jong-un/North and South Korean leaders
    3. Holiness for Xi Jimpong/
    Chinese and Akhito/ Japanese politicians
    4. Conversion of ISIS hearts and political leaders in Syria, Iraq and Iran.
    5. Protection for Israel, where the Precious Blood of Jesus still cries out to The Father of all Mercies.
    6. Conversion of all Chicago and Cuban mob leaders, families and neighborhoods
    7. Conversion of Russian, Italian, and Japanese mob leaders and families.
    8. Conversion of all US Gang leaders and families.
    9. Conversion of Mexican and Colombian Drug Cartel leaders and their families.
    10. Jesus, recalling The Holy Family’s grievous mental and physical anguish during their years of flight from Herod into the land Egypt, now calls down Mercy on all emigrants fleeing slavery, poverty, political terrorism, and all those seeking their basic needs and rights to life.

    Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y
    al Espíritu Santo. Como era en el principio, ahora
    y siempre, por los siglos de los siglos. Amén.
    Oh mì Jesús perdónanos nuestros pecados, nos puede salvar de los fuegos a del infierno, lleva todas las almas al cielo, especialmente aquellas en las más necesitadas de tu misericordia. Amen

    _________________________
    THE FOURTH SORROWFUL MYSTERY
    Jesus Carries the Cross
    EL CUARTO MISTERIO DOLOROSO
    Jesús lleva la cruz

    Padre nuestro que estás en el cielo, santificado sea tu Nombre, venga tu reino , hagase tu voluntad, asì en la tierra como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día, y perdóna nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos á los qúe nos ofenden. No nos dejes caer en tentación, y líbranos de mal. Amen

    Dios te salve, Maria. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, y defundir el efecto de gracia de tu Llama de Amor, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

    1. Jesus embraces the cross. He draws it to Himself. His experienced hands inspect the wood. He eyes with love it’s dimensions. He knows from ancient times what He is about. Jesus repairs for all the times we protest to God for the suffering He sends.
    2. The cross surprises Him with its great weight. Exquisite pain. Wood meets the bare bone of His bloody shoulders. Jesus amends for unshouldered burdens, curses hurled at God, His precious Name taken in vain. Crosses thrown down in defiance.
    3. The crowned Sacred Head is bent so low. Oh Sacred Monstrance covered with spit. Oh Sacred Heart, heavy as stone by centuries of sin. Sacred Love so scorned. Jesus repairs now for all the mockery and derision of the Creator by His arrogant creatures.
    4. Jesus stumbles over mountains of decadence, our excessive indulgence in luxuries/sensual pleasures, our moral corruption. Jesus amends for all addictions as He falls down in the dirt.
    5. Struggling to arise, Jesus is bent once more to the ground by droves of gleeful demons, who taunt Him and rejoice. See how Mercy falls again under the Father’s Justice! Weep, all you faint of heart! The Author of Life, repairs for all those suicidal despairing souls, who refuse Love, who refuse to get up when they fall down, who choose instead to wander this earth lost and hopeless.
    6. He can smell the dust but all sounds become as distant. He is curled in a fetal position receiving kicks and curses. Jesus remembers with Love all lives taken. All abortions and suicides, euthanasia of elderly and infirm, all homicides and genocides, and all those who spit on Your gift of Life.
    7. Simon reluctantly carries Jesus’ cross. How many of us must be forced to carry another’s cross? Do I volunteer? It is so simple. Love God. Love one another. The Sacred Heart is repairing for racial hatred, cities overturned with riots of rage, all greed, all wars.
    8. Jesus comforts the crying women. Oh inquisitive women! You stand by and cry, but do nothing. Am I a “looky-loo”? Do I crane my neck to see another’s misery when I pass an accident on the freeway? Do I pray for them? Do I watch on the news all the Christians that are martyred, without being moved to tearful prayer? Am I concerned only about my family and myself? Jesus now repairs for our lack of brotherly love, all judgements against one another, for our spiritual snobbery and blindness.
    9. The Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus meet. The Two Hearts entwine in a single moment of ecstasy. Time ceases. Only Love, in the Divine Will, exists. Then The Father’s Justice resumes. Jesus makes all things new, repairing especially for insults aimed at Mary, His Immaculate and beloved mother.
    10. His bloody body had to be dragged up the hill of Calvary. But when ordered to do so, the God Man obediently positions His limbs on top of the cross. Oh my Jesus! How You Love me so by offering up your bruised and bloody body for my sins! How You honor Your Father’s Divine Will to open the gates of heaven, once and for all, for all those of His creatures who seek entrance through the door of Mercy! The God Man is amending now for all acts of disobedience. Oh happy fault of Adam that won for us a LOVE SO GREAT!

    Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y
    al Espíritu Santo. Como era en el principio, ahora
    y siempre, por los siglos de los siglos. Amen
    Oh mì Jesús perdónanos nuestros pecados, nos puede salvar de los fuegos del infierno, lleva todas las almas al cielo, especialmente aquellas en las más necesitadas de tu misericordia. Amen

    ________________________
    THE FIFTH SORROWFUL MYSTERY
    Jesus is crucified and dies on the cross. (Reparations)

    EL QUINTO MISTERIO DOLOROSO
    Jesús se crucifica y muere en la cruz.
    Padre nuestro que estás en el cielo, santificado sea tu Nombre, venga tu reino, hagase tu voluntad, asì en la tierra, como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día, y perdóna nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos á los qúe nos ofenden. No nos dejes caer en tentación, y líbranos de mal. Amen

    Dios te salve, Maria. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, y defundir el efecto de gracia de tu Llama de Amor, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

    1. Carefully His hand is positioned over the hole readied to be nailed to the cross. Carefully we have used our hands for evil, wicked works. Watch as the Sacrificial Lamb amends for all thieveries, beatings, blows, abuse, the building up of empires, every empty tower of Babel ever built, all for the idol of self.
    2. He feels the thorns driven further into His skull, as He rests His weary head against the wood of the cross. He sees myriads of self righteous cardinals, archbishops, pharisees all murmuring within the Barque of Peter. Jesus amends for treachery, freemasonry, intrigue and deception, and all we modern pharisees, so full of spiritual pride.
    3. His back, a raw mass of bloody wound, presses into the wooden beam upon which His Sacred body lays. “The body of Christ.” What have we become? Pathetic, anemic emissaries of the Christ. Hurriedly prepared, poorly attended liturgies. Uninspired prayers, boring homilies, wandering minds. WE, THE BODY OF CHRIST, HAVE LOST OUR FIRST LOVE. LUKEWARM,WE ARE GOOD ONLY FOR VOMITING OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD. Jesus now fuses us into Himself. Then, with us tucked into His Sacred Heart, He perfectly adores His Father and The Holy Spirit.
    4. As His Sacred frame is stretched upon the cross, He groans. The Body of the Christ is torn apart. It was supposed to be One. Thousands of “Christian” denominations tearing each other apart in heated debate with clever proofs of each ones’ authenticity. Snide remarks. Hateful name calling and labeling of those “others” who we are certain to be the “unclean”, the “outcasts”. In truth, these are the very brothers and sisters we are meant to love. Jesus is now adoring the Father, who ministers to The Son. We are all now One in the Spirit.
    5. The left hand is fixed with a second stake. The Father had commanded “Let there be Light!” Instead, we hurled ourselves into the darkness. The Lamb is repairing in this instant for our neglect of our family members, and for the neglect of those duties pertaining to our station in life. All undone acts of kindness are now being repaired for by Our Lord. Every undone good deed, that could have made His Love a reality, is mourned for by our gentle Jesus.
    6. Beautiful Jesus is now unrecognizable. “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”
    (2 Cor 5:21) Oh man! Behold The Body of your Christ! Can you see what you have done to Him? His entire frame is contorted by the unrelenting pain. If we do these things when the wood is green, what will we do when it is dry?(Luke 23: 31 ) We have Undeified, Unglorified, Uglified, and Pedophiled THE CHRIST in one another. God, The Father, could have looked at this disgraced figure of His Word made Flesh and painfully regretted His promise to us in the Garden of Eden, but Truth will not contradict Itself. Oh my God! I am so heartily sorry for having offended You, in my brother and in my sister. Through Your Divine Will, trusting in Your Sacred Blood, with your Beloved Son, I amend for these sins against You. “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” (C. Ten-boom)
    7. Calloused, bruised and bloodied knees of Christ. Do I pray with all my heart? Poor prayer, prideful prayer, inattentive prayer, or worse yet, no prayer at all. How did it come about that the creature acts to eliminate, from all public places, any mention of its Creator? Oh man, where did you ever learn you had no need for your Maker? Have the enemy’s lies reached your ears? How is it, the angels ask, that man is allowed such folly? How is it, Abba, that you allow us to remain, at all, in Your Most Holy Presence? JESUS, WHO IS LOVE amends for our disrespectfulness in our prayer to THE CREATOR.
    8. Right foot of Christ is being fixed in place. I adore this Sacred wound which amends for wrong ways I have walked. This terrible wound holds back the Father’s Justice for terrible mistakes, wretched faults, causing devastating consequences, wrecking innocent lives. Jesus makes amendment now for the stinking stench of humanity at its very worst, for the perpetrators of mass destruction and war atrocities, for all serial murderers. Jesus amends for those who have chosen the wide road, and those who, with full abandon, have followed the enemy. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
    9. Adoring now the ruby red wound of Jesus’ left foot which also is torn through with the iron stake. His entire body shivers, after the raised beam slams down into the prepared hole. The Sacred wounds ooze Sacred blood, as The Lamb stands and then slumps, alternating, in a feeble, futile attempt to find relief. Jesus now repairs for those who failed to listen to the Shepherd’s voice. Failed marriages, failed vocations, failed promises, walking out, walking away, for all the Jonahs who run from the Hound of God. “I thirst!” Now the Trinity prepares to receive the Sacrifical Lamb of Ancient Times.
    10.”Into your hands, Father, I commend my spirit.” A soldier’s lance both pierces The Sacred Heart and The Immaculate Heart, like lightning striking a tree. The Holy Spirit of Love, the Mercy of Jesus, and the Justice of The Father physically coalesce for all to see as it is held up by priests at every altar around the world until the end of time. Creation itself shudders violently. The sun refuses to shine. Torrential sprays of Sacred Blood, the water and Wine, cover me. My humanity is lost in the Divinity of the God Man. This cannot be described by words, but only by a most Sacred and astounding silence. A silence which is heard, at last, by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the Holy ones, waiting in the Holy Abode. I am suddenly among the thousands in robes washed white by His Blood. I join them in crying out day and night, into Eternity “Worthy! Worthy! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!”

    *”At the hour of my death, receive me, Oh Lord, as a daughter (son) of Your Passion, dressed in Your blood, adorned with Your wounds, see not me, but only Yourself and Your Most Holy Divine Will. Amen”
    (*Prayer by Luisa Picarreta, Little Servant of the Divine Will, found in “The Hours of The Passion”.)

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