This is post which discusses religion, Christ, the Cross and suffering.
To share in the sufferings of Christ,..what does that really mean?
When I was growing up I was schooled in Catholic doctrine, and this issue often came up.
We were told that we may share in the suffering of Christ, and that it was an honour and a way to reach God.
When I became ill I was told that I was probably suffering as Christ had done.
The difficulty was I wanted to get better, I did not want to be ill or suffer.
This can be said by other Catholics, but it is not always a welcome contribution. The person may feel that they only want to get better.
The other issue is choice. Those who do share in the suffering of Christ will report a conversation with God in which they were offered a choice. If they chose this road graces would come to them and others, but they must choose as it meant suffering.
I believe that God would not cause us to suffer in this way unless we chose. We would have to walk into this with our eyes open.
I do not remember choosing to suffer, or agreeing to anything. Depression came to me out of the blue.
The question is,..was my suffering in any way linked to Christ, and what He went through on the Cross?
I do not think so, as the element of choice was not there.
I simply became ill, and wanted to get better.
This leaves me with another question. Can God use my suffering in some way?
I would like to think He could as I often feel that those years were wasted, but I do not know how.
To go back to Catholicism, we are told to ‘offer it up’. The idea is we offer our suffering, and God finds some way to use this, possibly to bestow grace where it is needed.
I have done this. I have offered it up, and asked Him to use it in any way that He can.
I still think that the Cross is a place of mystery which we can never fully understand. But it is a place we can go to, and we can just tell Jesus how we are feeling. I do that too sometimes.