The suffering we go through may seem meaningless, but it’s not. Or, rather, it doesn’t have to be. By joining our suffering with that of Jesus, we become partners with Him in the salvific act.
We read in Colossians 1:24: “Now I [Paul] rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.”
That’s not to say that Jesus missed a spot. He didn’t. But it DOES tell us that, when we join our suffering with His (offer it up), we can benefit others in the Body of Christ (The Church). We can even offer it in penance for our own sins.
1 Pet. 2:19-21 “Whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace. . . Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps”.
We are to follow His example and join our suffering with His. We are to take up our cross daily: Matt. 10:38 “Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me”.
Again, we are to follow His example.
But unless we embrace that suffering and pain and join it with the suffering sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, it is simply suffering for suffering’s sake. Worthless.
“There is a hospital that I have occasion to drive by quite often, and whenever I do, I feel a great sadness because within those walls there is so much wasted suffering.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Join your suffering to that of Jesus. Don’t waste it. Give it a purpose. Make your own suffering count for something other than just to give you a reason to feel sorry for yourself, or others to feel sorry for you.
Make your suffering count. Make it mean something.
Give your suffering a purpose.