Prayer in the Midst of Suffering
Tuesday March 19 was our second session in our Lenten Series on prayer. We continue to explore how to Meet Jesus in our everyday life. Last week, we started by discussing Mass, the most common prayer experience of any Catholic. We looked at how the Mass is primarily prayer between the Father and the Son, which they invite us to participate in and we gave some practical tips to enter into that prayer between the Father and the Son. You can listen to those at this link: https://www.stjohncatholic.com/single-post/2019/03/13/Praying-at-Mass
Tuesday we focused on the topic of suffering. Suffering is a topic that affects us deeply. It comes in all forms: it can come in sickness, cancer or the death of a loved one. It can come in the form of a loss of job or loss of property and money. It can come when others hurt you through words or actions. It can come in the form of your own personal sins and addictions. Suffering can leave us wondering about God and why He would allow such things to happen.
When we suffer, we want to isolate ourselves, isolate from others and from God. But we have to resist that feeling, because when we suffer that is when we need others and God the most. Fr. Royce discussed in his talk how Jesus suffered just like the rest of us. He experienced sadness when He found out Lazarus died. He experienced anger when He saw the state of the Jewish Temple. He experienced suffering when he was arrested and sentenced to death. Jesus went through every human experience that we all go through. We can go to Him in any situation.
When we do turn to Jesus during suffering, we can do it in a couple of ways: First we can ask for help. When we ask for help we can ask God to intervene in the situation. God will act. Sometimes he will intervene in the situation, but most of the time he will intervene in your own heart. He will change you and show you how to get through the situation.
Second, we can ask God to make good come out of the suffering we endure. It was Jesus’ suffering and death that brought about the greatest good, our salvation, and good can come from our suffering. We can do this by offering up our suffering for others.
Third, we surrender. We can surrender the situation and ourselves to God. Last, we can turn to Mary, our Mother who can pray for us and bring us comfort and peace.
If you were not able to join us for this session, feel free to listen to Fr. Royce’s full talk by clicking the audio link in this post. We hare halfway through our Lenten Series. We have two great upcoming sessions, both detailing how to listen to God. We would love for you to join us from 6-8 PM in the Church basement.