Can we offer past suffering to God?

Started by Hannelore, March 24, 2023, 01:19:23 PM

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Our own suffering, that we didn't remember to offer up at the time?
My Lord and my God.



My take on this is it will really depend, and that is if at that time we did suffer we were in the state of grace or not. Anyone can correct me if I am wrong.


I'm inclined to think yes, since God is outside of time, but I'm not sure.
My Lord and my God.


For starters, I will say that I've never known how to properly "offer" suffering because I cannot wrap my mind around the concept in the first place, just theologically and spiritually.  What I can understand and have done is willingly surrender to suffering with the help of grace, after deep prayer. At those times I have an implicit and sometimes explicit understanding that such suffering is sanctifying, both for me and -- if the suffering includes a situation affecting another person -- for that person's sanctification as well.

To answer your specific question, it would be even more of a stretch for me to try to "apply" that retroactively, but what I think would be just as effective as having done so in the past would be to understand and acknowledge, in prayer, that a specific suffering or period of suffering is now something I am actually grateful for and "bless."  Then, I could also apply that new awareness to some "current" (in human time) situation or person, directing that awareness-aided-by-grace into a prayer "offering."

IOW, I think thanksgiving for suffering is a great grace that can be "applied" in a variety of ways.  Let's say we neglected to offer a suffering at the time, for a person's physical healing, and the person is now deceased.  Obviously, we can now, in thanksgiving, "bless" that suffering (for some reason I can understanding "blessing" suffering better than "offering" it) for the intention of the deceased person's soul. I think that would add efficacy to our prayer for his or her release from Purgatory.

I am a person who needs a great deal of grace -- from a sudden gift or from the fruit of disciplined prayer -- to regard suffering as anything but an evil (which, objectively it is, in Catholic philosophy).  The way I conceptualize "offering" it is merely deeply accepting it, surrendering to it.  That's the so-called "offering," to me. It's union with God's Will.


I really don't know. Leaning towards yes, but I don't quite know. Sometimes when I serve Mass I forget to offer up the Mass before the Offertory; I still offer it up after because I figure God isn't bound by time constraints the way we are.
All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.

"Am I not here, I who am your mother?" Mary to Juan Diego

"Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer's day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented." G.K. Chesterton

"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill." Jesus Christ


I agree with you Meriam that suffering is anything but evil because it is painful. I see it as the result of the fall. That truth of human act that happened in the Garden of Eden cannot be reversed and so to willingly suffer for the love of God and obedience to His will is what makes it an act of piousness. It was shown by people like Abraham, Job, Mama Mary and of course by our Lord Jesus Christ. I see the goodness of suffering if it is done in order to obey  His will and not my will and to suffer for God. To suffer for the sake of suffering is disorderly.

It is the reason I stated that suffering can only be offered to God even if it was from the past and that can be done only if the person was and/or is in the state of grace of God. If the suffering was because of cooperation with evil, then that cannot be offered. On the other hand it can make a person realize of the truth of God and can purge him/her to be back to the hands of God. The evils of suffering can be an instrument of the love of God for one may search again the path towards obedience to His will and the classic example is the Parable of the Prodigal Son, also, the story of Saints like St. Mary Magdalene and St. Paul.

Personally, I am trying my best to sin no more for what Fr. Chad Ripperger lectured, by stopping sinning is just the beginning of sanctification. How I wish our Priests should proclaim that truth in their respective sermons. But, we are in the moment when we need to suffer from the sinfulness of the world. To suffer from the shame of our Catholic leadership. I believe this suffering should likewise be offered to God in unity of the way Jesus suffered by way of the cross in the redemption of our sins. To pray for our Priests and our Pope is the solution, in my candid understanding of these.


My experience is that when past suffering suddenly pops into my mind, it is most often an attack from the enemy. An example would be that my DH and I are having a disagreement and suddenly I remember the time he wounded me when he  _______________ (fill in the blank.)

The Bible tells us to "take every thought captive," so (when I remember to do so) I say "Lord I give you my suffering that you will be glorified and the enemy will be put to shame." My experience is that our disagreement then fizzles out.

On the other hand, if I forget to do this and instead allow my anger to get to me,about what he did in the past, a small disagreement can explode.
To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.
Saint Teresa of Avila