When I was young, one of the things Catholics used to say when we had pain or were ill was: “OFFER IT UP”. I hadn’t heard it for years until a few years ago, when I read or heard someone say, “OFFER UP YOUR PAIN AND SUFFERING AS A PRAYER FOR OTHERS WHO HAVE THE SAME ILLNESSES.” Simply tell Jesus that you are offering your suffering up for someone one else.” It made sense to me then and still does, at least the pain and suffering I am going through is not wasted if it is used as a prayer. I remembered this through breast cancer and then later as I went and am still going through heart problems. Did it make the pain and suffering any easier, it still was bad, but at least it served as a prayer.
I have since read and heard this several times in Christian Magazines and the Presence Radio. I read that you could use suffering as a prayer, not only for other people, but for souls stuck in Purgatory and to help atone for sins being committed in the world and prayer for Peace in the world. Then I came across this article by Rev. Andrew Apostoli, CFR in the SOUL MAGAZINE, a publication of the World Apostolate of Fatima. In one of the chapters he wrote:
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO SUFFERING?
The second time the Angel appeared to Lucia and the other children of Portugal at Fatima he encouraged the children, “Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering which the Lord will send you.” Everyone has suffering of one kind or another in life. This is what Jesus taught in the Gospel to be His disciple, namely, that we must deny ourselves (these are our sacrifices). take up our crosses each day (these are our sufferings, even if just carrying out our daily duties), an follow Me (these are our efforts to imitate Christ each day). (cf Mt 16:24). ………………………………….
HOW DO WE HANDLE SUFFERING?
I has been said that suffering can make a person either better or bitter. It makes us better when we see it as coming from God and are willing to accept it from Him. Many lessons in life come through suffering especially the building of character and the strength of enduring with perseverance. On the other hand, we know that suffering can make people bitter. This happens when they resent them and refuse to accept them. Many people become angry at God when crosses come their way. They resent it because these sufferings take away their ability to live a happy life according to their own hopes and desires. Yet it is only when we embrace the cross in our hearts that we find the peace that comes in doing God’s will, even in adversity. In our Christian faith the cross is no longer a tragedy; God turned it into a source of blessings and eternal happiness. The Angel would encourage us to accept our sufferings with patience and trust. Abundant fruits will follow!
Remember folks, offer your pain, disappointments, sufferings, and hurts up to Jesus as a prayer, He has a plan for you. Ask Him to be with you and to give you the strength to make it through the tough times, and be sure to thank him for the good times. Thank Him for the things He has given you and the good people He has put in your life. Be sure to tell Him you love Him, as he love you, no mater what.