“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Romans 8:28




We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…


– Romans 8:28 (NIV)






There is no easy explanation for suffering,

least of all for the suffering of the innocent.


For many, suffering is like a great wall which prevents them from seeing God and His infinite love for mankind.

Why doesn’t Almighty God prevent such apparently useless suffering?


Suffering is indeed a mystery…but is certainly is not useless,

otherwise it is like claiming that Christ’s suffering was useless.

It is through faith that Christians can discover in the darkness of their own or other people’s suffering,

the loving and provident hand of their Father God

who knows so much more and sees so much further than they themselves can.

It is through faith that we begin to understand St Paul’s words:

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,

including everything that seems to be piercingly inexplicable or incomprehensible.


We must not forget that our greatest happiness and our most authentic good

are not always those which we dream of and long for.

It is difficult for us to see things in their true perspective:

we can only take in a very small part of complete reality;

we can only see the tiny piece of reality that is here, in front of us.


We are inclined to feel that earthly existence is the only real one,

and we often consider our time on earth to be the period in which all our longings for perfect happiness ought to be fulfilled.


No one willingly looks for suffering,

yet Jesus proclaimed as blessed – privileged, happy – those who mourn: those who in this life carry a heavy cross.

Faith, in fact, transforms the meaning of suffering, be it through illness, handicap, physical pain, poverty, slander, injustice…

In union with Christ’s suffering it is changed into a sign of God’s love,

into something valuable and fruitful

– for the sufferers

and also for those who suffer with them;

for those who give of themselves to help ease the pain of others through selfless giving, compassion and unconditional love.


The Cross, pain and suffering, are the means which Our Lord used to redeem us.

Since then suffering has had a new meaning: it can be redemptive and lead to personal purification,

and this can be only be understood when we place our hope in Christ and entrust in His will.






Hold my hand, Lord Jesus, and make me more like You in my own suffering and in that of others.



[*] Today’s reflection is sourced from the seven-volume work “In Conversation with God” by Padre Francisco Fernández Carvajal.

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