Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Offering it up"

Elizabeth Scalia has such a beautiful, refreshing writing style. She is using her gift well to discuss suffering and the idea of offering it up.

Pondering the crucifix, and the immensity of what Christ endured, we wonder what could possibly be ‘lacking’ in his afflictions. But then, gazing upon His outstretched arms, we see an invitation. If we accept that no act in human history can begin to match the power, the healing, the victory and the justice that was achieved in the crucified suffering of Jesus of Nazareth, then attaching our own trials, minor or major though they be, to that still-resonating act of generosity and self-abnegation exposes them to all of the good contained in Christ’s sacrifice, and it assists in the salvation of the world.

We know that Jesus’ pain is occurring even in this instant, and that right now—in commingling our suffering with his—we can bring ourselves close to him. Christ’s agony and death released the dew of mercy, dropping from heaven and bathing us all; it was a wholly and holy vertical transaction.

But “offering it up” can speed this salvific action horizontally. Any such offering, even if it is initiated by a feeling of resigned helplessness, has the potential to unleash an expansive love upon the world. It cannot be otherwise. To offer one’s aches and pains, one’s disappointments for the sake of others is always love-in-action, a redemptive act. There is a particularly true and hardy love that springs from an offering made for the intentions of another.

Read it all here.

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