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Redemptive Suffering: a lesson for Holy Week from our sister in Christ, @LisaGraas

26 March 2013 Anno Domini
posted by Sarah Campbell

Lisa Graas, our sister in Christ and contributor EXTRAORDINAIRE here at Always Catholic has written a post at her blog which is an explanation of Redemptive Suffering. In the spirit of Holy Week, when all Catholics relive the Passion, suffering, death and Resurrection of Jesus, this insight on suffering is key. With the recent loss of her father, Sofia felt this post is the one thing we should all read and meditate upon during this holiest time of our liturgical year.
Sofia was originally coming back this week after taking last week off because of the death of her father but her confessor has told her to not return until Easter Monday. The consoling and healing spirit of the Triduum is just what the Divine Physician ordered. Sofia will be getting on Twitter & FB to thank personally all those who have prayed for her and then will return on April 1st.

Thank you and God bless you,
Sarah Campbell
@CatholicTeen
Intern at Always Catholic
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Study Up On Redemptive Suffering – It Will Change Your Life

posted by Lisa Graas at her blog,
Catholic Bandita
22 March 2013 Anno Domini

Regular readers know that I am a Passionist. What is that exactly? The article on the Passionists at Wikipedia is brief but generally accurate. You can find out more at the website and blog of the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery, to which I am attached as an oblate associate. Essentially, my relationship with them is that I love them and they love me. There really isn’t any more to it than that. I am not under any obedience to them. I just love them…but…it is true love, not because it is my love, but because it is my love with the love of Jesus poured out to us. This is the love which is found when we offer ourselves for others. My relationship with the Passionist Nuns is one of redemptive suffering. I offer all of my sufferings for their intentions, whatever they may be. In return, they pray for me and for my family.

There is no greater gift than love, and there is no greater love than the love of Christ in His Cross. Jesus said:

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. — John 15:13

My first duty is to my family, especially to my children, but my truest friends are the Passionist Nuns even though they are cloistered and I never speak to them unless it is absolutely necessary. (Unfortunately, due to Bipolar Disorder, my brain sometimes tells me it’s absolutely necessary when it really is not.) We are friends to each other only much as we are Christ to each other, and in my relationship with the Passionist Nuns, which is quite different from that of other friends, Christ is there in fullness.

Since I converted to Catholicism, one of the greatest agonies for me, apart from my physical and mental disorders, has been finding out that so many people do not really know the depth of what happened on the Cross. Even among those who are Catholic, there is very little understanding of redemptive suffering, that our sufferings have value when they are offered in union with the sufferings of our Lord on the Cross. All Christians know that redemption is through the Cross and that the Cross is the source of all graces. All Christians know, even protestants who believe in Sola Fide, that if you truly love Jesus, you will do God’s will. All Christians know, too, that we all fail at this every day, but that Jesus is still there for us in His Cross of redemption. How this becomes manifest to us is where we disagree, but that is because of human error, not God’s error.

How sad it is that even though we all believe these things, we are divided, Catholic and protestant. What separates us, I think, has to do mostly with a lack of understanding about the Incarnation….that we are all PHYSICALLY connected to each other, because the world (including our flesh) was created through Jesus. Our flesh exists because of His Flesh. We are created in His image. We all belong to Him completely. This is why it was possible for Him to save us when He Himself suffered death on the Cross. Because God is not bound by time (only we are), we all were hanging with Him on the Cross. His Sacrifice was the Gift of Himself, and the only way we will not be saved is if we deny this gift of salvation by rejecting the will of God in our lives. We do this when we refuse to take up the cross in our own lives and follow Him.

Jesus said:

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. — Luke 14:27

Bearing your cross is doing the will of the Father, as Jesus did in His Agony in the Garden, but it is also understanding that we are not God. We are His creation, made to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him. We do not have His power. As Mother Teresa said, we are to be as pencils in His hand. Grace comes from His Sacrifice. We Catholics seek to be like our Blessed Mother, sitting patiently at the Foot of the Cross.

For the rest of this important lesson for Holy Week, Please click HERE to go to Lisa’s blog, CatholicBandita.


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