Monday, August 18, 2014

Suffering Can be Redemptive


I once heard a homily in which the priest said, "There is no such thing as cheap grace." He then went on to talk about suffering, and how suffering can help save your own soul, as well as the souls of others. Sometimes we need to be purged of our faults, and suffering is a way in which that happens. Or, we may undergo tribulations for the sake of others. When we encounter trials, and we unite our suffering to Christ on the Cross, we can gain great merit.

Being the target of a church bully involves a unique kind of suffering. It means your spiritual home is no longer a refuge, and you need to view it in a new light by lowering your expectations. Or, perhaps, it's time move on and find a new place to worship. This means leaving old friends behind and striking out on your own in a new setting. Or, the bully may have turned enough people against you so that you have very few friends left at church, and the situation becomes akin to a workplace mobbing, only it's playing out at church.

When this happens, usually God is calling you to a new place.

Never forget that suffering can be redemptive. God is very pleased when accept our cross and we give Him our sufferings as an offering. Living on earth, we have the free will to make this offering. The Holy Souls in Purgatory do not have this choice, and they can no longer gain merit for their trials.

(Purgatory is a place of purification, because only souls that are perfect may enter the Kingdom of Heaven.)



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