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My Reflection on Suffering

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"…Suddenly, when the soul is engulfed in pain, at these very moments, almost of despair, there comes a gentle breeze, changing parching arid suffering into a pleasant freshness without other desire than to please the Beloved, without dreaming any more about the pleasure of future goods."
-Servant of God Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

When you are rejected by the people whom you dearly love, what will you feel? When you are judged by the organization you belong to, what will you do? When almost all the people who know you and once associated with you will deny you, will you only cry and do nothing? When you are destroyed because people would like to get the position that you are currently occupying, how will you react? When you suffered injustice from the hands of those whom you trust, will you fight back? And if almost no one will trust you for the reason that people labeled you as immoral - because of what was shown in the television proclaiming your one day escapade as you commit a consensual sin with a woman - how will you react?

Will you curse God?

In pain, my only refuge was the God that I knew when I was a child. I never doubted His presence whenever I am alone - as I always am. He is always there for me. I am a sinner and will always be one because I cannot be like Him - perfect, merciful, just and forgiving. I hold my imperfection that was why there would be time when darkness would envelope my soul and hopelessness would pass through my mind. I am weak and imperfect, but despite of these weakness and imperfection, God would always extend His hand to me as he would offer refuge and solace to my suffering soul.

Many times when I thought that everything that I would do would be useless, He always provided me a simple reason why I was feeling that bout of uselessness - and lately I realized that God was only testing my faith. The greatest storm that I was currently experiencing was the devaluing of my worth as a professional and a leader but when I thought that almost everything was lost, I gained my soul because I learned how to face my insurmountable SUFFERINGS and substitute it with OFFERINGS accompanied by tears and self-sacrifice. Perhaps all the saints were feeling the same as I was feeling and when the storm passed, I saw God smiling at me and opening the door that was otherwise shut when my window was opened. Suffering is an opportunity to experience what Christ had experienced in His lifetime - rejection, persecution and dejection.

Many humans are suffering because they are always aspiring to have SUCCESS UNLIMITED (SU - letters that represents the first letters of the term Suffering) and once that they could not get it, they would always feel as if they were abandoned by God. People would not do what God wills for them, but instead they would want to impose their will to the Father often giving Him ultimatum. And when they would not receive what they prayed for, they cursed Him, they rejected Him and they would deny Him.

The reason why I would like you to know this because, if you would not learn how to give up and let the Father works for you, there could never be a success. After all, everything that we achieve here on earth is always the handmaid of God. To live like Christ, we need to offer ourselves to Him and we forget about success because if there would be no success, there could be no failure - and humans would not feel dejected and forsaken.

Our actions must always be OUTBOUND (OTHER-orientedness) i.e. we think always about loving, forgiving and doing the WILL of the Father. The O from the term outbound would denote our nothingness that would substitute the Success Unlimited (SU) of SUFFERING in order to make an OFFERING to God.

The world will be a HAPPY place to live with.

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Copyright ©2023 by Arnel Bañaga Salgado, PsyD, EdD, DSc
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