Understanding the Breach
In the “Suffering” episode, Jeff Cavins says that many men simply “put up with life” most of their lives.
He elaborates: “Because they’re not having a great day, they’re not getting what they want, they’re sick, they didn’t get the raise, whatever… they’re suffering; they’re just sort of putting up with it.”
The key to dealing with our suffering and disappointments, he indicates, is found in Christ and in understanding the meaning of redemptive suffering.
How is this idea of a man just “putting up with life,” sort of going through the motions, antithetical to his vocation as a man, a husband, a father and a Catholic? How will such an attitude inevitably lead to a failure to achieve greatness, excellence, and holiness?
How do you ordinarily respond or feel when you’re “not having a great day”? Who are some people you know who handle adversity in a way you admire? What is their secret to this serenity amid challenges? How can you imitate them?
The Bible and Catechism teach us that our suffering is not useless; it can be a powerful source of grace and hope when united to Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. A traditional Catholic approach to everyday suffering and disappointment is to “offer it up.” In practical terms, what does it mean for a man to “offer up” his suffering?
Bricks For The Breach
“Jesus has given to all of us our own cross. We each have our own cross. But our suffering is not without purpose. Jesus’ suffering was not just arbitrary suffering. It was not random suffering. There was a very specific purpose to his suffering. It was redemptive. And so our suffering, if we embrace it, it shares in that meaning and that purpose.” (Frank Ramirez)
Sword of the Spirit
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?” (Matthew 16:24-26)