View all Ask a Priest |
“Ask a Priest: What If It Seems That I Have It Too Easy?”
Q: This might sound strange, but I worry that I don’t suffer enough. We are told to take up our cross and follow Jesus. While I have had and do have situations in my life that aren’t great, I would hardly call them “suffering.” When I see what some people have to endure, I find myself wondering why I don’t have more to endure. I don’t believe God sends suffering to us. But if he allows it in order to draw us closer to him sometimes, I wonder, does he not want to draw me in? That sounds ridiculous, but … believe me, I don’t want to suffer! And perhaps I will at some future date. But I can’t help wondering. Thanks for listening. – E.H.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: Perhaps Our Lord has spared you (so far, at least) from major suffering. That doesn’t mean that the future will always be easy.
If Jesus has given you a respite from suffering, then you want to use this time as best you can.
This is the time to go deeper in your prayer life and sacramental life and works of charity. It would be good to get involved in volunteer work or some other kind of Church-related endeavor, such as door-to-door evangelization or catechesis. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much” (Luke 12:48).
All this will help you build a good foundation for the day when things get more difficult. “The day of adversity makes one forget prosperity” (Sirach 11:25).
A practical way to accept suffering, albeit minor, is to never complain about the problems you face day to day. This little discipline will help build your resilience and patience — and toughen you for the possibly rocky times again.
There are souls who have offered themselves as victim souls, asking for suffering from God, as a fruitful spiritual act. Perhaps you should ask in prayer whether the Lord thinks you could handle more suffering. The Lord might allow more suffering, but that is a point that you want to reach through prayer, not reasoning. In any case, God won’t test us beyond our strength.
Rest assured that a lack of stark suffering right now isn’t a sign that Jesus doesn’t want you close to him. His road for your holiness might just have fewer potholes.
Keep learning more with Ask a Priest
Got a question? Need an answer?
Today’s secular world throws curve balls at us all the time. AskACatholicPriest is a Q&A feature that anyone can use. Just type your question HERE, and you will get a personal response back from one of our priests at RCSpirituality. You can ask about anything – liturgy, prayer, moral questions, current events… Our goal is simply to provide a trustworthy forum for dependable Catholic guidance and information. So go ahead and ask your question…