I have been teaching my juniors about the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. We talk about suffering and how our culture masks suffering with medication. After all, no one wants to feel pain or suffer. However, suffering brings us closer to Jesus Christ.
The Paschal Mystery, the life, death, passion, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ sets the example of how we are to live our Christianity out in the here and now. Jesus died to himself so that we might have eternal life with him. Each time we suffer and die to our own wants and needs and rely completely on God we become a new creation. It is a difficult concept to believe that we must give up what we seem to “want” so that we can live more fully. The advertisers of our culture would have to find a new business plan of persuasion if we actually adopted this notion. They prey on the fact that we “want” or “need” more things in our lives to complete us. However, only one thing will ever complete us and that is the love of God. When we die to our suffering, our own wants and live for God everything in our lives will change.
My students have a difficult time understanding the idea that what is best is to live your life the way God wants you to live it. I pray that one day they will experience this idea of dying to oneself and rising a new in the creation that God intended. Many times we must go through the suffering and cross of Christ to discover our new creation