Let me start this article with a question, “Why do people suffer?” Let us pause for a while and think about what could be the answers to this question. Looking back, 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. Each one of us has our experiences of pain and hardships – stories of suffering. May it be a story of a father who lost his job during the pandemic; a story of people who were having a hard time dealing with their inner battles; a story of a son or daughter who experienced a sudden death of a person he or she loves; a story of an OFW who needs to live away from his or her family; a story of students who were tired doing loads of school works; a story of a teacher who was tired printing and checking modules; a story of a father who loses his wife and son because of some sort of dispute; a story of a child who was bashed on social media because of a mistake; a story of a mother who lost her daughter; a story of 11 men who were accused of killing someone; a story of a medical front liner in his/her everyday battle against COVID-19; a story of a family who lost their home because of a typhoon; and a lot more. These stories remind us how hard and painful life is. These stories make us think about how complicated life is. These stories show us the different masks of suffering. Suffering comes in various forms and shapes – suffering from watching someone you love suffer, suffering from physical and emotional aches, suffering from the things we cannot change and control, and suffering from all the pain and problems. Indeed, suffering is one of the mysteries life has. For some people, they prefer to suffer publicly, and others suffer in private in a way that nobody would know.
As we go on in this life, and as we face all the sufferings we might encounter, we will learn how to make peace out of it. Let us remind ourselves that suffering is a tool that can transform us into a more loving person. Our suffering helps us to redirect our perspective about the things happening around us as we endure everything.
Yes, we don’t have control over everything, but how we respond to it is different. There were times when it would have been difficult for us to respond with compassion because we were lost in our own pain. Eventually, through the process, we become more compassionate and understanding, for we know the feeling of having a hard time dealing with all the things that life has been throwing upon us.
- Suffering is an inevitable part of our life and it doesn’t have to be meaningless.
There will always be a purpose and reason for everything. May our faith lead us to believe that suffering has value, that we will learn from it, and it will lead us to a greater calling.
- The Suffering of Jesus Christ is the greatest act of Love.
As we endure and take our crosses, may we always become the more loving person that we could be. Our actions should be aligned with the teachings and life of Jesus. In every aspect of our lives, may we ask ourselves “What would Jesus do?”
- Suffering can purify our obedience.
Suffering can make us feel that we are powerless and don’t have control over anything but it also leads us to be more determined in following and obeying what God wants us to do. It can purify our obedience as we submit ourselves to the One who has a loving plan for us.
Maybe we cannot understand what’s the reason for all of our pain, hardships, and sufferings right now and it is okay but sooner or later, we will understand. Sooner or later, we will overcome it. Sooner or later, everything will make sense. Whatever it is, God is with you and you will never be alone.
“As the suffering increases, Grace also increases” -St. Rose of Lima
God bless us all!
Mumay Hinggan is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.