Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Offering Up Suffering (Thank you veterans)

Today we honor and remember those who suffered for our nation by serving in the military.

This day is especially poignant given the events last week at Fort Hood.

Thank you, veterans, living and dead. God bless you.

In thinking of veterans and what they have suffered and continue to suffer for our sake, I recall part of a prayer said during Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15).

"As we honor the compassionate love of the Virgin Mary, may we make up in our own lives whatever is lacking in the sufferings of Christ."

My first thought when I heard those words was what could possibly be lacking in the sufferings of Christ that we could somehow make it up? Is this possible?

But then I thought: What a loving gift - allowing us to share in that ultimate act of love.

And think of the sufferings we can offer up.

Small disappointments, bumps and bruises, a toothache, embarrassments, frustrations, minor illnesses, hunger, delays in getting something we want, a favorite team losing, unkind comments, loss of a job, being mocked and bullied, a beloved pet's death, serious injuries, lingering illness, slander, divorce or broken relationships, betrayal by a trusted person, the death of a loved one, cancer, persecution, crippling disease, loss of limbs, death, and so much more.

Life is full of sorrows great and small, and we can offer them all up to help make up whatever is lacking in Christ's sufferings. Offering up suffering helps to unite us to Christ's sufferings, following the examples of so many saints like St. Francis when he experienced the Stigmata.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

Pax et bonum

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