It takes supernatural faith to go out and help others in these times when we ourselves are dealing with financial burdens. This is the kind of stuff saints are made of. These days are opportunities to come closer to Jesus in ways that otherwise one could not. It is through our trials in the darkness that we become a brighter light.
Witnessing to God’s goodness while we are in darkness gives others hope. God in turn rewards us with His consolations (2 Cor 12:9). Somehow, I always feel at peace when helping others. I also think of Jesus as He was carrying the cross up Mount Calvary and stopped to console the women of Jerusalem. The moment of grace these women must have experienced as their God stopped for them as He carried the cross for their souls. He wants to give this same grace to those you console in the midst of carrying your cross. Your sufferings can be a means by which others can experience the grace of Jesus Himself. This is what it means to “offer it up”. It puts a whole new meaning to “Be Bold, Be Catholic”.
If we trip and fall, that does not mean we are failures. It just means that we struggle and may fall at times. In the Stations of the Cross, Jesus falls three times. His physical body could only do so much. With the grace of God, we can get up too and keep trying our best. Remain in prayer at all times when suffering. It is hard to concentrate while suffering, but prayer makes it easier. If you are not accustomed to prayer, it may be hard to concentrate on prayer when suffering all the more. So we need to develop a prayer life when not suffering, so that we can have the stamina to pray when suffering.
There are different purposes for prayer in suffering. The first is to pray for healing or some sort of easing of the suffering. This should be prayed. It is not a denial of suffering, it is a yes to the authority of God to heal. When praying for healing or for God to get rid of suffering, our intentions should be to glorify God with the healing we would receive. The effects of the healing would then be something holy. Another purpose for prayer in suffering is to ask for another’s healing. Ask Jesus to unite your suffering with His that another person may be healed or may receive a grace that they may need. It is not something we are doing ourselves or are forcing Jesus to do. Jesus knows what is best for us all. These prayers are always as a child asking their Father for a gift.
If another person is responsible for your suffering, pray for them and ask Jesus to bring them many graces. This is a time to offer your suffering for their salvation. This is a very real sacrifice that can negate a lot of evil in this world. You can also ask to have the strength to accept the suffering you endure. The fruit of this prayer is peace, which in turn enables you to serve others, even in the suffering.
We always have to be reminded that Jesus did not die on the cross for us so that all suffering would be eliminated (Lk 9:23). He did not promise us a bed of roses in this life. Suffering well is a great testament to God and his goodness. They are opportunities to witness to this dark world. Oddly enough, it is an opportunity to make the world brighter while you are in the darkest spot in your life, and shine your light.