A Gift from God

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Though we all experience suffering, it does not affect everyone the same way. The influence it has on a person depends upon attitudes a person adopts when suffering comes into his life.

Basically, there are three different attitudes a person can adopt toward suffering. The first is that of the complainer. His complaints cause the people around him to suffer. This is the worst possible attitude to adopt when misfortune comes.

The second attitude toward suffering is that of patience. The patient man knows the folly of complaining and suffers in silence. His character is strengthened by the trials he undergoes and his patient endurance makes him a better man.

Finally, the third and best way to face suffering is to welcome it as a gift from God. This, of course, requires faith. The man of faith believes that God is a loving Father, and that He is concerned about the welfare of all men. At the same time, the man of faith knows that he is a sinner and suffering is necessary to purify him from his sins. He not only bears suffering with patience, but welcomes it as an opportunity to do penance for his sins and become more closely united to God.

The man of faith views his sufferings as connected with the sufferings of Christ and offers them up in union with the Savior. The result is that he gains tremendous benefit from the trials he suffers. When the suffering is over, or even when he is in the midst of suffering, he experiences a warm feeling in his heart. It is a sense of spiritual renewal of resurrection to a new and better form of life.