I have a goddaughter who has a limited lifespan and I recently learned that a relative has Stage 4 cancer. To the world, it seems that any suffering is a tragedy and such news would be met with pity and horror. Without downplaying the gravity of such life situations, I would like to add that my little bit of suffering from the post-pregnancy illness has taught me a lot… about God and the value of Christian suffering.
I came across this story regarding Chiara’s cause for canonization. In it, Aleteia interviews her husband who tells their life story and philosophy. He talks about suffering and how it brings him closer to God:
“When you go through those times of suffering, your friendship with the Lord gets stronger. You also realize that suffering is a gift, because it puts some things in your life in order, and you realize who you are,” Enrico affirms.
The value of suffering is best summed up in this other article regarding Our Lady of Fatima’s appearance to the three children. She posed this question to them:
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
During night prayer these days, I thank God for what I have at present. A happy and healthy family but I understand that the good Lord gives but He also takes away. And until that moment when my faith is tested, I am humbled to receive the littler crosses He sends my way.