Making Choices to Alleviate Pain and Suffering
by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield
Continuing our Journey
Thank you again for honoring me with your compliments, responses and requests for prayer. I continue to be graced by all the readers. Over the past months we have embraced Jesus as the Lord of everything, including our pain and suffering. As we complete the last few weeks of this phase of Ordinary Time and approach the Lenten Journey for 2006, I would like to look at some areas within our own power that can impact the Pain and Suffering of others.
A Story of Tommy
Tommy was young man with tremendous achievements. His family loved him very much and he was truly their pride and joy. Tommy was one of the hardest workers most people ever met. This was proven by the fact that he always received honors in academics and awards in all athletics. When people met Tommy they always complimented him for his positive attitude and his warm smile
Unfortunately all was not perfect for Tommy because sometimes he was the target of nasty remarks from some uncaring people. Why? Tommy has a stuttering problem. He frequently stuttered when he talked and was occasionally difficult to understand. Because of this stuttering, some very mean people called Tommy a “retard.” Over the years, Tommy learned to ignore those who were mean to him but he still holds the pain that those who were nasty caused him deep in his heart...
Years later, Tommy was challenged by a supervisor to try speaking publicly. With hard work; the encouragement of his colleagues; and the healing grace of God, Tommy is now a dynamic speaker. He has spoken to huge crowds of people and even gave a presentation to one of the recent Presidents of the United States. Tommy’s story is one of success because of hard work, a loving community of colleagues and blessings from God.
The Ability to Use Our Gifts to Heal
Those making fun of Tommy by calling him nasty names caused him pain. This pain is something that made life difficult for Tommy. Yet, these people also had the power to make a difference in Tommy’s life by being friends. However, they decided to inflict pain on this wonderful young man.
In our lives, we also are faced with many similar decisions. When faced with those who differ because of the color of skin, have advanced age, lessened mental abilities or serious health issues, we also make choices. Sometimes we reach out and affirm the goodness of those different than us. On other occasions, we take the time to learn about each person’s thoughtfulness. Unfortunately, sometimes we just laugh and call those who are different some nasty names. We are all imperfect but striving to avoid sin and weakness and we need the help of our community and our loving God.
God is calling all of us to respond to the grace of our Baptism and become agents of change and healing. He is calling each of us to be available to bring hope to those who suffer and experience painful lives. Hopefully, we will say “yes” to God. What do you choose? It is my prayer that you say “yes” to reaching out for others.
For Your Reflection
From a Ministry Perspective:
- Are there particular persons in my ministry with whom I struggle? Can I reach out to be an agent of love for that person(s)?
- Where do I fail when responding to the call of my brothers and sisters who are different?
From a Family Perspective:
- In my Domestic Church, as parent, sibling, widow or single, how do I take action to include and strengthen the weaker amongst us? Can I make that a reality?
- In what areas of our relationship do my family and I have trouble reaching out to each other?
I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.
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