Skip to content

The Chronic Sufferers Challenge

By Dan Shea
2/9/2013 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Most people do not understand the sufferer's challenge.

When pain is not visible and the medical diagnosis is fraught with ambiguity, others do not relate.  Regardless, private suffering consumes one's very being each and every hour of the day.  Thus, the sufferer must take into account what Pope Paul VI said, "You are not alone, separated, abandoned or useless. You have been called by Christ and are his living and transparent image."

The Suffering Jesus

The Suffering Jesus

Highlights

By Dan Shea
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/9/2013 (4 years ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: suffering, pain, mystery, struggle, World Day of the Sick, Our Lady, holiness, Dan Shea


P>FLORIDA (Catholic Online) - "You may well be content to serve the Lord in illness, for when He calls people to suffer instead of working for Him, He is calling them to a higher state.  It is most fitting that we should carry the cross with Christ." -Saint John of Avila

Few know what it is like living day after day having to convince one's self that unrelenting suffering has a purpose.  Some suggest it saves souls while glorifying God knowing that "suffering that comes from God is best."  Yet that is hard to put your arms around when you are alone and no one understands the intensity of your pain, depression and loneliness.  When pain is not visible and the medical diagnosis is fraught with ambiguity, others do not relate.  Regardless, private suffering consumes one's very being each and every hour of the day.  Thus, the sufferer must take into account what Pope Paul VI said, "You are not alone, separated, abandoned or useless. You have been called by Christ and are his living and transparent image."

Occasionally, there are days when you suddenly get a break and everything and anything seems possible.  In one's resolve, you begin to think how lucky you are for having been provided for in our disability.  You are grateful for your family, friends, and doctors, who try to provide solutions and solace.  Mercifully, this sustains one for a time.  Then just as suddenly as relief appeared it disappears and with it goes the glimpse of hope that allowed you to believe the end was in sight.  Ominously, the process begins anew.  It is a constant struggle of faith, love, perseverance, acceptance, joy, and fleeting relief contrasted with anger, fear, hollow smiles, sorrow, and depression.

However through focused prayer and determination one might take the advice of the Venerable Fulton Sheen who said, "Think not that you could do more if you were well.what matters is not what.we are doing, but whether we are doing God's will."  Eventually, the sufferer may conclude he has been chosen to a ministry he would not have chosen for himself.  He now understands that suffering's purpose is redemption.  This bears out Fr. Richard John Neuhaus saying, "He allows us to have a share in His redeeming work, which can only be done through suffering."  Often suffering also includes the added burden of being misunderstood.  Most people do not understand the sufferer's challenge.

Emerson stated "It is a luxury to be understood."  For most people to understand without having experienced another's travail is nearly impossible.  The key to understanding anyone is genuine caring and similar experiences.  Still the common propensity is to detach from our fellow travelers and their woes.  Proper detachment frees men from caring about things of the world, to care for the people of the world.  Tragically, indifference frees men from both.

M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled, provides further evidence stating "The person who has evolved to the highest level of awareness, of spiritual power, will likely have no one in his or her circle of acquaintances with whom to share such depth of understanding."  Plainly, one's pain filled moccasins only fit their owner.  Accordingly, we must pray as Saint Francis, "O'Divine Master grant that I may not seek to be understood but to understand."

The 21st World Day of the Sick will be celebrated February 11 on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

--------

Dan Shea lives and writes from Florida. Long active in his parish and in the Right to Life movement, he has written two books Beyond Banter & Banalities and Breaking Father Down.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MAY 2017
Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.


Comments


More Year of Faith

The Happy Priest on the Baptism of the Lord and our own Baptism Watch

Image of

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If you do not know the date of your own ... continue reading


Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, ... continue reading


Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables ... continue reading


The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the ... continue reading


The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.