Author: Lisa Graas
•7/17/2004 08:48:00 PM
I am doing much better!  Tomorrow, I plan to take all of the kids to Mass with me (I have four children.)  I'm just hoping and praying that I do not have a panic attack.  Fortunately, it's an 11am Mass, so I will have plenty of time to prepare.
This Sunday's readings include the story of Mary and Martha.  No doubt, most sermons will be on that story.  I choose to reflect, however, on the reading of St. Paul to the Colossians.  In this reading, St. Paul says, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church..."
On this blog I have shared a lot about my sufferings but not nearly enough about my hope.  The hope that I have is that, by His Incarnation, I have been made able to partake of the divine nature, which means that by His Suffering on the Cross, value has been placed on my sufferings.  This value is redemptive value.  I participate in the redemption of the world, as does every Christian who rightly offers up his sufferings for this purpose.  There are two kinds of suffering, however -- redemptive suffering and wasted suffering.
Wasted suffering is that suffering which does not have redemptive value in that the person has chosen, for whatever reason, not to offer it to God to use for His divine purposes.
You may think I'm crazy for saying that suffering can be redemptive, but consider the saints who also believed it, including St. Paul who wrote of it throughout the Scriptures!  Yes, by my sufferings, souls are being saved.  Again, read what Paul wrote: " my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church...."  Consider also the words of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus: "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul."
Of all my sacrifices, I believe my greatest are yet to come.  I pray that God will give me the grace to offer them up in a manner pleasing to Him.
If you would like to speak to me about this, or any other subject dealing with our Faith, email me at   You can also leave a comment here on the blog. 
Love from Lisa
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