A Final Reflection on Pain and Suffering
by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield
As we come to the conclusion of my reflections on the role and practice of pain and suffering in our journey with the Lord, it is good to start at where it all began for humankind in the Garden of Eden. From the actions of our first parents, Adam and Eve, the effects of original sin are the starting place of all pain and suffering.
Our great Catechism Of The Catholic Church states in Para 418 that “As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin…” Many authors call this the “human condition.” It is the result of humankind rejecting the openness and generosity of its Creator, God the Father. Thus we live a life of imperfection as we journey to eternal life with God. It is in this state of imperfection that we remain until we are reunited with God.
In this journey of life, we are not abandoned. No, we are blessed to have a roadmap, of sorts, set forth by our Church consisting of things like our Catholic traditions; sacred scripture; our decisions of free will and our own personal relationships with God. We also know that different situations will call forth varying portions for every circumstance.
Our Individual Journeys
As we come to termination it is important to reconstruct the path we have journeyed.
Some of the ideas that we have reviewed were as follows:
How pain and suffering can make a sudden drastic change in your life. How the clouds of our troubles can suddenly sweep away the sunny horizons of our experiences.
Next, is the importance of God’s role in our pain and suffering. How being open to God has a transformative impact on us and those around us. How the community is called for by God in his own mysterious way to work towards to resolution of our problems. This calls for us therefore, to be open to God and the possibility of being touched by God to work on His behalf for others.
Next, we talked about the importance of prayer and offering the entirely of our beings to God. Prayer is the central source of our relationship with God is done at all levels of our Church with the Holy Mass as the source and summit of our faith. Knowing that worldwide Eucharistic prayers are being recited at every hour and minute of the day; throughout every corner of the world for us and our individual situations is real commitment by our Worldwide Catholic Community. As we attend Mass, we see in different areas lots of prayer experiences like prayers, for peace, prayers to relieve anxiety, prayers for the intentions of the people of God and finally prayers of forgiveness and healing. These should never be taken lightly especially since they are all said at Mass.
Finally, is our own Catholic family’s way of dealing with situations. Our Blessed Mother, Mary is our model for living with pain and suffering. Shortly after a difficult birth, Mary took her new child to a foreign land—Egypt. Today as our children may also be threatened we are refreshed and challenged by the proactive approaches of Mary and Joseph. They followed God’s lead in very difficult times.
Later the painful experience of seeing Jewish leaders trick Jesus and constantly challenge Jesus. Finally watching her child being executed and tortured was an encounter with pain that we cannot imagine. God brought them peace!
A Call to Believe!
So, in conclusion, it is obvious that pain and suffering is very much part of our lives. It is what we are all about. We have the role models of the holy family, the inspired words of scripture and the Holy Spirit guiding our Church to focus on as we move through life.
It is my prayer that each of you will be able to release whatever burdens you may have to the Lord. That we can all embrace the “mystery” God has for each of us. Also, I pray that we embrace the reality that God has a plan in our lives. So, that when we pray the words of the Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done;” we are serious and we are truly seeking the will of God.
Thank you for the opportunity to share for my ideas on pain and suffering. I remain at the service of the entire Christian Community. As a result of these reflections, many have been touched by God and healings have taken place. As praise be to Jesus!!
For Your Reflection
From a Ministry Perspective:
- Do you really believe in original sin? Listen to your words and look at your actions. Do they proclaim to all you minister with, that we are imperfect?
From a Family Perspective:
- Does your family actually believe in original sin? Listen to your family’s words and look at their actions, do their words and action show that they really understand that we will live forever? How can you help?
I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.
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