article – PAIN AS PRAYER





I remember my dad when I was a kid. Every Sunday, he played mahjong the whole afternoon and evening with his brother and two sisters. When he came home with a gallon of ice cream, everyone knew he won. But if instead he did not talk to anyone during dinner, he obviously lost. The normal reaction when we are not in a good mood, or when we are angry or in pain is to spread it around to others.


It takes a lot of heart to not spread our pain. If you are not in the mood, it is so easy to let others also lose their good mood. But to purposely not make it contagious takes a lot of effort. It is alright to let others around you know you are not in the mood, but you do not need to let them have it. A mother pounces on a daughter if she has menstrual spasm. A daughter spurns a kid brother because she gets a failing grade in school. We see this everyday.


My friend at the healing ministry told me the story of this woman with cancer of the bone who spoke of her suffering. She hid from her children the excruciating physical pain she was suffering, and the consequent depression, if only so they would not share the pain with worry and concern. When finally she could hide it no longer, the children did not show their tears until they were alone in their rooms. When they were together, the joy of being together prevailed over the pain and anxiety.


We can actually sanctify our pain by offering it to Jesus. That way, it becomes bearable or it even disappears. That way, pain becomes a form of prayer more effective than an Our Father or a rosary. That way, we share our pain to His pain on the cross. It is a great opportunity to pray when we are in pain. Do not take your pain for granted. You can harness its spiritual value.


An insulin-dependent woman with stage 4 diabetes was healed by Father Suarez. She simply touched the television screen when he was blessing the public and the viewers at the end of a healing mass. The next day, her symptoms disappeared. When she had a check up, the doctor was shocked how she improved so rapidly. She was no longer insulin-dependent. In tears, after she was healed, she said, “Lord, I don’t care how much pain you let me go through, as long as You are around and You make me strong enough to bear it and offer it to You. The pain I can bear but Your absence I cannot.”


We can never get away from pain. Somehow, sometime, somewhere, it is there around the corner at every chapter of our lives. It is the nature of life on earth to experience pain. You make a choice – strengthen yourself against pain by sanctifying it into a prayer, or wallow in depression and self-pity. In the end, there is only one recourse – surrender yourself to the Lord at the moment of pain, and life will be beautiful, even in pain.


Lord, I offer to You all my pains
strengthen me against the storm
let it pass to make me whole once more
help me bear the momentary darkness
until Your blinding light takes over again
Lord, I surrender myself to Your will
Your will be done in my pains and in my joys




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