The Victory of Suffering is in Love
The Redemptive Power of Suffering
I was thinking the other day about the problem of suffering in the world – and how the Redemption carried out by Christ in His passion and death on the cross gave a new meaning to this problem of pain that has weighed so heavily on humans from the beginning of time.
Christ was entirely without sin and therefore He absolutely did not deserve to suffer. And yet He is the one who accepted suffering in the fullest manner – accepted it voluntarily and with love. He desired to drink the cup of suffering for our sins. In this desire is found the essence of the redemption of the world by means of the Cross. The redemptive power of suffering is in love.
Saint Pope John Paul II said,
Thus, thanks to Christ the meaning of suffering changes radically. It no longer suffices to see it as a punishment for sin. One must discern in it the redemptive salvific power of love. The evil of suffering, in the mystery of Christ’s redemption, is overcome and, in every case, transformed; it becomes a force for the liberation from evil, for the victory of the good.
Because love was at work in the suffering of Christ, good was the result. Ever since Christ chose the Cross and died on Calvary out of love, our suffering, too, can be chosen out of love. We have the choice either to endure it in rebellion or to receive it with love, waiting for the good that will be revealed somewhere, somehow because of it. The answer to the problem of suffering is found in the Lord’s words:
Truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit.
The Gospel of John 12:24
by Sr. Maria Grace, C.P. of the Monastery of the Sacred Passion in Erlanger, KY