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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just Do Something

I'm a convert (2003) and I never understood the concept of "offering it up" until I read your blog post on the topic ( which I found a year or so ago--I read through your archive, too). Cradle Catholics were frustrated with me for not "just doing it".  Only after I read your blog did I realize that the "it" isn't the suffering, but the right to gripe about it.  Since you were so good at helping me understand the concept, I'm hoping you'll be able to willing to help me understand how to offer back to God the suffering of Jesus and the body/blood/soul/divinity of the Divine Chaplet.  They aren't mine to offer and why does God want the suffering back?  What's He supposed to to with it?  I've googled the question and it only comes up with with ever more incessant reasons to "offer it up", not what to actually do.

I'm afraid you've misunderstood me to some extent. We offer the suffering as well!

"Just Do It" shouldn't just be the Nike slogan.

Wait.  Is it the Nike slogan?  It's somebody's slogan, isn't it?

Anyhow, your cradle Catholic friends are giving you excellent advice.  We don't have to understand everything, every second.  Of course, the deeper our understanding the better, but sometimes our actions can lead us to understanding.

Poor dumb little Bernadette didn't know what in the world the lady was talking about when she answered, when asked her name, "I am the Immaculate Conception."  She may just as well have said, "I am Santa Claus, Ho! Ho! Ho!"  It would have made as much sense to Bernadette.  It didn't impact her devotion even a little bit.

So, let's try this again. We do offer up our suffering and our prayers.  Prayers are easy to understand. They are an offering.  We pray for the souls of the departed, offer our prayers for them.  You've got that, right?  We'll get back to the Divine Chaplet in a moment.

Meanwhile: suffering.  I think of it the way mothers think about their children.  If you could trade your suffering for theirs, you would.

So, you stub your toe, and you say to God, "God, I'd like to trade this suffering for my poor Aunt Minnie there in Purgatory. I'll suffer for her for a moment. It's the least I can do."  Although, I don't think you should pick and choose. For all you know, Aunt Minnie has made it onto Heaven. Or she never made it to Purgatory.  Uh-oh.  I recommend just praying for the souls in Purgatory.

My point with offering your suffering gladly was simply to point out that a gift given grudgingly is not a very good gift.  If you're complaining, you're keeping the suffering for yourself, aren't you?  I think so.

I hope the Divine Chaplet won't flummox you too much.  Start with this thought paramount in your brain: here in the Catholic Church, we are One with Christ.  He is the Bridegroom, She is the Bride. We are united.

So, God demanded the ultimate sacrifice from Jesus and Jesus offered that sacrifice.  And since we're one with Jesus, we get to offer that sacrifice right along with Him. The Eucharist makes the same offering.

I don't know what God wants to do with it.  It seemed very important to Him, though, as He went through a lot of trouble to make it happen.  Here's something else Cradle Catholics understand. God didn't make us capable of understanding everything about Him. Some things remain what we call a "Sacred Mystery".

Cradle Catholics understand that "Sacred Mystery" is "Catholic" for "Just Let It Go."


Claudia said...

This topic reminds me of what I would tell my daughter when she was little when she would say she did not like to do something or other ..."You don't have to like it, you just have to do it."

Maureen said...

Please explain the Divine Chaplet - since I don't think I know what that is - and I am a cradle Catholic!

Wendy said...

I think what God is "doing with it" (an excellent question, by the way) is perfecting us. Specifically, He uses it to increase our love.

Willing suffering is the food of love. That may seem crazy, but try it! Take some one you want to love more and offer something up (to God) for them.

Anonymous said...

I was just at Heaven Help Us. Are there no more "be Good" coasters? And could you make a "Be Good" medalion in glass?

And, related to this blog, maybe a "Just Let It Go" or "Offer It UP" medalion would be good.

Dejanet said...

Two of the greatest gifts I discovered when I converted to Catholicism are the help of the Saints (love 'em everyone of them including the crabby ones) and this astounding idea that my suffering can have meaning. It all seemed so wasted the time spent in pain or misery but it even the past hurts can be redeemed by "offering it up" to Jesus. And who knows who may be helped by uniting our pain to his?!? I love this faith!