Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I Have Been Pondering....

S. Janet praying with community
My morning prayer contains the words, “Dear God, I offer you my prayers, joys, works and sufferings of this day …”

I can point to my prayers, joys and works but…, my sufferings?? Do I suffer? Well, I do admit to having some pain every day, so I know that’s suffering. But that’s as far as the awareness of my suffering has been going.

As I meditated, I began to realize that feelings such as hurt, frustration, disappointment, anger or grief can be types of suffering, too. If my friend and I disagree to the point of not speaking to one another for a while... or if I feel rejected because I was left out … or if my sister finds it hard to forgive me for unintentionally losing her favorite book…those feelings could result in suffering of another kind. I suppose suffering happens on a minor scale, when I skin my knee from a fall.

I think I am getting the picture. Originally, I’d been thinking more of the heavy suffering that affects victims of violence, hunger, immigration abuse and a lack of basic human rights. Yes, that is suffering without a doubt.

All these insights help me to be in solidarity with others who suffer so much. Yes, dear God, “I offer you my prayers, joys, works and sufferings of this day …”

Janet Thielges, OSB


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