Sunday, August 31, 2014

WhA-cHu OfFeRInG?

As I was preparing for my homily this weekend, I was listening to a couple podcasts to get a good backdrop. I was praying and trying to figure out what to preach on and every time I would visit my notes, I could tell that the Spirit was nudging more and more to a saying that I learned later on in my life..."Offer it up."

Most of us may not have heard of this saying. I seem to always find out that the older generations heard it growing up. "My mom would always say that to us!" "My grandparents would constantly tell me to offer it up."

Suffering is a very difficult thing, but it seems to me that we have become sensitized over the years. Any form of discomfort or suffering is quickly avoided. We have forgotten, have never realized, or have never been taught that suffering can also be a great opportunity. Suffering is an opportunity for us to become channels of grace for those around us and for the entire world.

O_o

I know, right?!?!

Yes suffering is bad and we must do what we can to alleviate it. I'm not promoting masochism. Still, if we find ourselves in a moment of suffering, we can unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ and offer it up. We are united to Christ by virtue of our baptism. We are in Him in a very real way. He is living in us. When we bring Christ into our suffering, it becomes a moment in which his grace can be poured out into our lives.

And actually, we can offer it up for someone else. We can undergo a certain difficulty and, uniting ourselves with the suffering Christ, ask the Lord that he use our suffering to bring grace to someone else that may have a greater hurt or greater difficulty...we can even offer our suffering for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

Notice, through the very suffering of Christ; his agony; his persecution; his beatings; his heavy burdens; his scourging; his nailing and suffocation on the Cross; through all of his suffering moments and ultimately through His Death, he won for all of humanity the promise of the Resurrection. He redeemed the human experience and brought value and meaning to suffering. When we suffer, it does not have to be in vain. We can offer it up along with Christ. We are part of his Mystical Body and can thus share in the redeeming value of suffering as we undergo own sufferings.

Think of a parent who gives her meal to her child so that they can eat. She offered up a suffering (her own hunger) for the wellbeing of her child. Similarly, we can undergo our sufferings with someone in mind that they may be spiritually nourished, strengthened, and or assisted by God's grace.

Suffering is difficult, but it no longer need be endured in vain. Be it a paper cut, an annoying client at work, the individual who cut you off in traffic, the friend that betrayed you, or your second round of chemo...all these moments of sufferings are moments in which we can offer it up and be united to the Suffering Christ.

Start using the saying! Tell your friends and family about it...*warning, they'll probably hate you at first when you say it a lot...so go easy on them!* And yes, be mindful that we may need to console those who are in grave difficulty, still, now we know that suffering can change the world around us.

I found some links about Offering It Up. I think they can help fill in some of the gaps I am overlooking. They give Scripture references and other everyday perspectives!
http://catholicmom.com/2014/08/22/offer-it-up/
http://www.fisheaters.com/offeringitup.html
http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/offering-prayers.html
http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2014/03/whats-point-of-mortification-and.html
http://happycatholic.blogspot.com/2005/10/offer-it-up-what-heck-does-that-mean.html
http://catholicism.about.com/b/2013/11/08/offering-it-up.htm


Now if you would excuse me, I really don't want to clean up my room...so I have to go offer it up!


2 comments:

  1. I bet you can't guess what I want to say.....

    I'm offering up my tooth infection. That should get a few hundred souls out of Purgatory.... :-/

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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Please be charitable.