God is No Stranger to Suffering!

1 Peter 4:12

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.

We are creatures of habit. One of the oddest things about the way people behave in crisis situations is that they very frequently do nothing at all. A few years ago at an air fair in Germany, two planes collided and crashed in flames on a crowd of spectators. The odd thing about it was that videos of the disaster showed an amazing stillness in the crowd for several seconds after the crash. People simply couldn’t believe it was happening to them. The message of the cross is that such things do happen to good people, even to great people, even to divine people. This does not mean that God is capricious, any more than he was capricious with himself when he surrendered himself to be crucified. Rather, it means that, because he handed himself over to death, there is no ordeal we can go through where he is not with us and we with him. Stay with him and he will refine you like gold tested in fire.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • Warren Jewell

    My favorite icon – the Crucifix – speaks volumes of how sin causes God to suffer. He offers love; and we offer pride, greed and every corruption of His goodness we can find.

    Oh, and, here – let me nail you to Your Cross, Your Sacrifice – verily, Your Love.