by Malcolm Solomon​

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The Crucifixion - Pedro Orrent

Exploring the theme of suffering, in this article, I hope to delve into reflections on the teachings of Saint Paul and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Illuminating the weight of human suffering and the promise of glory, I take inspiration from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom 8:18).

I begin by acknowledging the universal nature of suffering, a shared human experience that often leaves people grappling with so many questions. This is exemplified even more as many confront the loss of loved ones and uncertainties in life, and they end up asking life’s biggest question: “Why do I suffer?”

To answer this question, we can turn to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. In the face of overwhelming suffering, solace is found in the life of Saint Thérèse. The little flower’s unwavering faith, amidst immense physical and emotional pain, becomes a testament to the enduring human spirit. Emphasizing the belief that, even in the depths of despair, we are not alone, and this underscores Jesus as a source of comfort and understanding because of His first-hand experience with suffering.

I would like to invite you to visualize yourselves standing at the foot of the cross, a scene characterized by chaos, blood, screams, and a lot of suffering. Within this shared suffering with Christ, the promise of glory becomes apparent. The crucifixion of Jesus serves as a poignant reminder that individual sufferings are not in vain and that the glory awaiting humanity surpasses the pain we endure.

I hope to continue this narrative by inviting you to envision yourselves alongside Mary, the apostles, and the women on Holy Saturday – a scene marked by silence, sorrow, and anticipation. The act of placing one’s head on Mary’s lap signifies finding solace in the trust that something greater is forthcoming. This trust then materializes on the third day when Mary discovers the empty tomb and encounters the risen Jesus. This encounter provides assurance that even in the depths of human suffering, you are not alone.

And as I draw parallels with the experiences of Saint Paul, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, and the crucifixion of Jesus, I emphasize that our human suffering serves a purpose. The glory awaiting us is portrayed as surpassing the hardships we endure; it encourages our unwavering faith and trust. This message ultimately communicates that, throughout our journey of suffering, we will never walk alone.

“Suffering is the very best gift He has to give us, He gives it only to His chosen friends”