Editor’s Choice: Embracing The Cross

This week we highlight our editor’s top picks from Encourage and Teach.

By: Sr. Clare Hunter, F.S.E.

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“I don’t want to be a burden, so I tell my family to just pull the plug!” I wince when I hear that comment, which is pretty much every time I give a talk or have a conversation about end-of-life issues. The idea of being incapacitated terrifies each of us. How many of us have observed a situation where a person has lost all sense of reality and awareness, must be fed, bathed, moved or helped in such ways that we shudder at the utter loss of autonomy? We gasp the prayer: “Don’t let that happen to me!”

“It is not right!” should be our response to suffering. It is a result of the Fall, and our hearts remember there was an original plan which did not include death and pain. In God’s mercy, our sin was redeemed through Jesus Christ, forever changing the role that suffering must take in our own salvation. As John Paul II states in the encyclical Salvifici doloris, “questions [about suffering] are difficult, when an individual puts them to another individual…..as also when man puts them to God.” Our questioning, or conversation with God, can be the deepest of prayers and transformation as we know an intimate imitation of the Crucified Christ. How often do we let suffering become the source of rejection and divorce from God?

This post first appeared on Encourage and Teach on September 23, 2013. View the full text here.

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