Christian Counseling on Redemptive Suffering

The Healing Power of Redemptive Suffering

The trite cliché, “offer it up” has so much theology and healing power it is no wonder that it has been clichéd by the enemy. It is as if the cliche’ “offer it up” were the title of a book and its chapters illuminated the processes holy purposes. The benefits of redemptive suffering are its ability to get souls out of purgatory and to evangelize the living to prevent Hell. There is also  increased probability for healing and merit. When we suffer well we are renewing our minds because this virtuous behavior releases graces to ourselves and the rest of the world.

When we pray, fast, or go to Church more than required we commonly expect to be blessed. What is difficult for many people to understand is that when God wants to reward people he often sends them trials and crosses. That can never be changed. Unfortunately this is not usually received well. They want to do God’s will in order to be more holy and  acquire more blessings but they find His crosses and trials insufferable. Human nature views trials and crosses as something to be avoided because it requires struggling. The spirit of the world inside the post abortive rejects renewing into the Mind of Christ by trials and crosses. They perceive trials and crosses as a punishment.

God does not think the way we think, so from His point of view He is actually rewarding us and doing us a great kindness. But how we respond to the suffering can either be in nature or grace.  When suffering transforms from focusing on the inconvenience into redemptive suffering this has great healing power.

If the post abortive could embrace trials and crosses in grace, they would be co-workers in Jesus’ mission while simultaneously consoling Him. It’s an ancient Catholic practice to make reparation to Jesus through our personal suffering. Therefore it is in the post Abortive’s best interest to unite their pain and suffering to the passion of Jesus Christ the Lord. The post abortive may never become able to love trials or crosses as a gift from God, but maybe they can move from disliking them, to tolerating them, to accepting them as a blessing for deep healing. It’s the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church that suffering can be very redemptive and open the floodgates of God’s healing mercy.

When a soul suffers, hates the suffering and complains to God, becoming mad at Him, this is not redemptive suffering because there is no love. Love of suffering is a very advanced Christian state of being. This reasoning was used by Mother Teresa about money. She said, “It’s not the amount of money given but the love attached to the gift.” If someone begrudgingly gave one million dollars to the Church, God would prefer the widows might.

It makes sense that there are many paths God uses to heal the post abortive soul. Redemptive suffering is a tried and true method. Redemptive suffering coexists like two sides of the same coin with the charismatic healing methods associated with praise, thanksgiving, and miracles.

While on Earth bad things happen to good people. God established the Adamic curse which placed mankind into a situation where we do things we don’t want to do and don’t do the things we want to do. When Jesus died and rose this act removed a lot of the damage caused by original sin but he did not remove pain and suffering from the Earth. This is because pain and suffering are a necessary tool for humanity to purify their hearts. God has embedded a divine healing power in our pain. Instead of boo hooing, “Poor, poor pitiful me,” and wasting the suffering on a pity party, practicing redemptive suffering is a royal road to healing the post abortive. When they try to intentionally embrace suffering, God gives them the strength to bear it. This often develops the virtues of patience, fortitude, and courage. Without trials they would never grow into spiritual maturity, and would remain spiritual children. Handling trials well creates spiritual growth. A trial may be upon a person so that they would gain these virtues. It becomes easier to embrace pain when it is ministering to hurting souls. It’s similar to the synergy which comes from combining prayer with fasting, there is also a synergy from combining suffering with redemptive intentions.

It is written that there is something lacking in Jesus’ suffering.(    ) Most of this lacking was completed through St. Mary’s Sorrowful Heart. What’s left lacking is human participation in redemptive suffering. This lack is fulfilled by human suffering. The amazing thing about Jesus’s suffering on the cross is that he folded into his suffering all human suffering so now mere human suffering becomes united with his suffering and contributes to redeeming and healing the world.  By His stripes we are healed and He allows the redemptive suffer to share a splinter of His cross.  Suffering done well unites our suffering with the passion of Christ. St. John Paul the Great believed that redemptive suffering was a sign of election and vocation. These people are living there priestly function as priest, prophet, and King.

Contract versus covenant – self-reliant vows.

We have the privilege of redemptive suffering which puts us in much closer union to Jesus. We establish joining His passion through injecting our passion into His all encompassing love for us. Not with sympathy or empathy, but in actuality. It is entering into the mind of Christ, into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

When we choose our own reparation or penance, hopefully we would be responding to the indwelling Holy Spirit. There is some dysfunctional logic that we can avoid God’s crosses and trials by self imposing our own trials. Even in our own strength -  praying, being kind, loving, fasting etc., has value. God appreciates our efforts. But it’s better to accept trials and crosses from God’s loving hands because he knows better than us.

It’s been said that there are two things the holy angels wish they were able to do but can’t because these things are reserved exclusively for humanity. The holy angels are content with their status but they wish they could receive Holy Communion and suffer. It seems possible that this angelic desire arises from their Holy nature of either being in God’s “image” or “ likeness,” but not both as we humans are.

Spiritual trials and carrying our crosses need to be brought into our conscious awareness, processed, and appreciated. Once a trial has meaning, it gives it purpose. Now they feel better because they can process to the advantage of the kingdom of God. This brings meaning to the suffering and often empowers sufferings healing power. A person can learn to live the suffering when they know that they are accomplishing this mighty work.  Redemptive suffering develops trustful surrender to Divine Providence.

Substitute the word trials with tests. Trials (tests) are necessary to heal us. When we have a trial and don’t pass it, it gives the illusion of going away because it submerges for a time. Soon though it will resurface in a slightly different form, but it’s the exact same test. The failing, submerging, resurfacing process continuously repeats itself until the test is passed. Once the test is passed our trials are reflected in post abortion healing, Christian maturity, and purification. When a trial is passed something deeper from within the soul comes to the surface as the next trial. This is the purification process that God uses to heal all hurting souls. This includes healing the post abortive soul.

Sickness and suffering are an evil mystery. The enemies “Will” is to destroy us, but God can turn the evil ones plan for our destruction and turn lemons into the best lemonade. The worst feelings of guilt, shame, etc., can be turned around from bad into good by reframing them into redemptive suffering. Once accomplished trials and crosses are no longer burdensome but used for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. This truth is often a hard pill for post abortive parents to swallow, but it is God intention to take all bad things and turn them into good things. As bad as the abortion objectively is, God may use it to press the reset button in the post Abortive’s spiritual formation. In some cases the abortion crisis knocks the post abortive parent onto their knees triggering genuine metanoia. Using Alcoholic Anonymous terminology, the abortion would be their, “Hitting bottom.” It is written (    ), it is better to loose a hand than your soul.  Possibly it’s better to loose a baby than your own soul.

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