The Purpose of Pain
by: Bro. Mark
I want to share with you a mystery many seek to understand. You may ask how is it that I have come to understand this mystery? I am not someone who is high up on the “spiritual guru” ladder. In fact, I am one of the lowest members. I don’t have a monastery to take care of. I am in no way a Saint. All I have to give is my prayers and the offering of my suffering while I lay on this bed, confined to being one who is “home-bound” because of my physical disability. But as I settled into my new reality, I succumbed to the truth that I can no longer participate in an active ministry. I use to be a certified hospital chaplain in my hay day. I learned a great deal when I turned to the spiritual life, a contemplative lifestyle. I learned what is needed most in this world is a spirit, a heart, completely focused on Christ Jesus and to share the love that pours from His Sacred Heart. We are to focus on that which is eternal. This life we now live goes by in the blink of an eye. Patiently bear all the hardships for Christ Jesus, because the suffering we endure does have true meaning and true purpose. You see, the mystery I learned, is that our sufferings have meaning, purpose. Suffering creates an energy. We can know this through our own experiences with suffering. We find ourselves really tired when we have pain. This is because an energy is released in our body when we experience this pain. We sleep a lot, we feel irritated, we are sometimes unpleasant to be around when we are in pain. This is the energy I speak of. This is the energy that Christ Jesus takes from us when we freely give it to Him. He then transforms this energy into a healing balm. The Holy Spirit then uses this transformed balm wherever the Spirit sees the most need. Now remember, Christ Jesus, died for All people, so that this healing balm can go anywhere in the world the Holy Spirit deems appropriate. This is the mysterious treasure that gives us great hope. The cross each of us carries every day can be carried with pride, with love, with faith, with the hope that one day we will see all the wonderful things the Holy Spirit was able to accomplish, because we said yes to Christ Jesus and offered what we had to Him, which is our sufferings. St. Paul tells us we are partakers in the divine nature through baptism and co-heirs with Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:17) We are also Co-creators with Him. In 1Col. 1:24, St. Paul states, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, the Church.” We participate in the redemption of our world and we participate in the healing of a new creation. We do this by carrying our own personal cross. In three of the Gospels, Jesus tells us to “take up your cross and follow Me. (Matt 16:24; Mark 8:34; & Luke 9:23) This is powerful stuff. Some will laugh at it, some will mock it, some will reject it. What I ask is to be open to what Christ Jesus teaches us regarding our personal suffering, to the cross and to what St. Paul teaches us about how we are called by Christ to share in establishing a new creation. Suffering does produce energy. We experience it at a human-body level. Therefore, if this energy can produce negative effects on us and within us, why is it not possible for Christ Jesus to transform this power into something profitable? A healing balm that soothes and re-creates the world. This mystery brings the cross into the forefront of our lives, bringing with it the virtue of hope. Hope provides the strength to embrace our personal pain and continue to walk the path in front of us knowing through faith that Christ Jesus does walk To sum up this message I am sharing with you is that the cross truly has meaning. Our crosses produce the energy that God needs to bring an everlasting healing and the introduction to a new creation. We are participate in this process. And finally, this is a tremendous gift to the world in which we live. Embrace this gift with your whole heart and continue to keep your eyes on the prize which is eternal salvation in the heavenly kingdom where “all tears will be wiped away and death shall be no more.”(Rev. 21:4)
Have a most blessed day!
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Hermits of the Holy Cross
5 thoughts on “The Purpose of Pain”
Beutifully inspiring, Mark! Thank you!
Thank you Mark for taking on the difficult discussion of suffering. It is truly a mystery with purpose!!! Society constantly has us running from it! I like how you mentioned our purpose is to give Christs love away to others. Our pastor mentioned this last Sunday in our homily! I also like how you spoke of having hope in our suffering. Thank you for helping us keep our eyes on the prize- Christ himself!
That Energy of which you speak also has the blessing of a purified heart; a will, such as your own, surrendered and intent on Serving God for the good of all His creation. Such Focused Intention is also a fruit of your suffering, as I see it. Bless you, Bro. Mark! 🙂
Thank you, brother, for your testimony. I will certainly remember you at my daily mass especially since I am also a more or less secluded person being an urban hermit in Montreal.
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Thanks so much for your kind words. I had a great uncle that was a Capuchin priest up in Montreal. Fr. Gabriel Dextraze He died a few years ago at 94. I also have a cousin from Montreal Bro. Andre Bessette. My dad’s dad married into the Bessette family. How interesting God has brought you into my life. I began this ministry in 2009. There are four of us now. 2 on the East Coast and two of us here in California. Anyway, thank you again dear brother and if you ever just want to vent you are more than welcome to email me @
Pax et Bonum,