Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Christian Response to Inner Pain

From His inmost being will flow rivers of living water.
~John 7:38
As we travel on this earth, we encounter pain. How is a Christian to respond to pain? This website on Catholic psychology gives us four steps to deal with pain and frustration.

1. Acknowledge the pain. Christ suffered openly and publicly for our sins. It is healthy and healing to follow Our Savior and acknowledge when we are suffering. We need not necessarily hide our sufferings in order to be a Christian.

2. Be transparent. Let your pain pass through you onto Christ and His justice. Become transparent like a beautiful piece of stained glass or a clear mountain stream, letting your suffering pass through you, and onto Christ. Jesus suffered the most unimaginable physical pain and public humiliation FOR US. He took our sins and our pain onto His Sacred Body. Meditate on His suffering on the Cross and let Him carry your pain.

3. Relax. Accept the frustration as being sent to you by God. Follow the advice given to us by Saint Margaret Mary (see the post that follows) to, accept this as sent to you by the Sacred Heart of Jesus in order to unite yourself to Him.

4. Pray for everyone in the situation, whether they be family, friends or strangers. Pray for the person who treats you rudely. Pray for the person who endangers others' lives on the road. Pray for the person who misunderstands your motives. Pray for everyone in every situation.

Years ago, I read this advice on prayer: "If someone should vex you, pray for that person. And you, yourself, practice the opposite virtue."

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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