By Thomas Kasper, LPC
God allows suffering to happen in our life on different levels and experiences to all sorts of people. Why is this?
One justifiable reason points to our human condition. We are decaying beings; death is certain. Another reason points to a more profound justification, and is something I wish to spend more time writing about.
Suffering is a ticket to heaven. I’ve heard the saying that to know God (Jesus) is to suffer because He suffered. Through suffering we come to know how frail and powerless we are as humans. And as much as some wish it, we cannot obtain immortality.
I can remember growing up watching super hero movies and t.v. shows in which many characters possess or hunt for grand power or invincibility. I know I enjoyed these experiences through video games and simple pretend with friends. These desires for immortality and power are a direct inverse relationship to suffering, because we want to avert from suffering and rightly so.
We take medicine to remedy sickness. We apply bandages to heal. But what about suffering that does not necessarily heal? Desolation? Grief? Abandonment?
It is God’s Will then that we suffer these. God knows what is best for us, and so He permits suffering. Therefore, we either accept the suffering or we don’t. For those who do not I call that misery, because they are not accepting God’s grace of suffering for Him, for themselves, or for others.
As St. Alphonsus de Liguori stated, “Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God.”
Another saint, St. John of Avila used to say: “One ‘Blessed be God’ in times of adversity, is worth more than a thousand acts of gratitude in times of prosperity.”
To accept suffering is a yes to God and His Will. Suffering is a reminder that without God we cannot be healed. Let Him care for us in ways that may not always be understood from the human mind. He is our true Doctor and Healer.
Heaven is the ultimate goal and the saints show us how to obtain it. Embrace suffering and we will find our Healer in this life and the next.
Thomas Kasper is Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). His goals are to incorporate both psychology and theology faithful to Church teaching. Therefore, he does not practice anything that is contrary to the Faith, nor does he impose the faith on anyone. Thomas treats individuals who come from various walks of life, Christian or not. Conversion to a healthier life is key in his practice. It is his desire that everyone he encounter grows closer to God’s Will.