5.5 How can this time of pain and suffering bring about something good?
Pain and suffering are evil, and fully contrary to the love and caring presence of God. It is our task to fight evil and to diminish the suffering and pain of the people around us where we can. Your care for another who suffers already generates a little good. In this way, a time of crisis can bring about a new perspective of selfless love. Every genuine act of love reflects the perfect love of God. When people work together to fight evil, they share in that love – even if they are unaware of it.
Jesus too has suffered a great deal. Although – contrary to most of us – he probably could have avoided his personal suffering, he accepted it for a greater good. Jesus offered his own life, so that we may live. He did so because he loves each of us dearly. Thus he gave a certain sense to suffering: through his suffering he brought us a future! Therefore, Saint Paul was happy to suffer too, because it made him feel part of the saving suffering of Jesus. You too can ask God’s grace to be strong enough to offer your unavoidable pain and suffering to Jesus, joining him in his suffering, desiring to join him also in his resurrection to eternal life.