Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Suffering or the Lack of It

The idea of embracing suffering vexes me.

I've had a blessed life. Couple it with a problem-solving personality that tries to fix challenges (as opposed to passively embracing the MINOR sufferings I've experienced), and I often worry I'm running away from suffering.

Driving to an appointment the other day, there was an old broadcast of a Mother Angelica show where someone asked her to address the fact that saints so often wrote of taking on suffering for its redemptive value while we live in a society that constantly markets to us about eliminating suffering in our lives.

Her response was wonderful, "Very few of us are saints."

She went on to say that when she has a headache, she reaches for the aspirin bottle. And if those aspirin don't work, she takes some more. Only then, if the headache hasn't subsided, does she tell herself God must have some other plan at work.

What a helpful point of view.

We're meant to be acting in our lives, and there's redemptive value in the struggle of dealing with challenges while also being open to God's will in our lives.

That makes me feel a whole lot better.


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