It’s a word a lot of people cringe at the sound of. This generation tries everything to numb pain. We drown ourselves in distractions such as social media, avoidance behaviors, and more.  We fear the thought of suffering, but if we numb the pain, we also numb the joy.

Mother Teresa said it best when she said:  “Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”

These past few weeks, Jesus has been giving a lot of kisses. A member of our team recently fractured her elbow in a bike accident and injured her dominant hand. She stated that, “This accident truly humbled me, and made me realize how much I cannot do on my own. Things that were so small and simple, like brushing my teeth, tying my shoes, and doing my hair, all became impossible for me to do by myself. I don’t know what hurt more — my arm or my pride.”

This theme of suffering has come up in our team quite frequently over the past month. Not only physically, but spiritually as well. As a team, we began our preparation to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary. One evening, our team was invited over to a generous parishioner’s home to watch a movie on Saint Maximilian Kolbe. We were struck by the immense faithfulness that he had in the midst of suffering. As we continued our preparation for consecration, our team began to admire the saints’ reflections on suffering, and had the opportunity to learn how to better offer our personal sufferings to the Lord. Through these reflections, we have learned that when we do suffer, we are not alone in these experiences, but rather we are united in Christ’s sufferings. We have truly been convicted to not shy away from the pain of suffering, but rather to unite our daily pains to those of the cross.  

We have come to appreciate the small gifts that the Lord gives us daily, and because they’re so small, they tend to go unseen. However, the smallest things can make the biggest difference. Suffering may come in little ways, but these little sufferings are huge gifts of love, so don’t let them pass you by.

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