“I can’t take it anymore!” were the words that tumbled out of my mouth as I sat defeated in front of a very young-looking priest. I had really been suffering from the new reality of my divorce. Well, what I heard next shocked me. He said, “Your suffering is actually helping you heal from your divorce. When you suffer, you become more like Christ.” I just looked him with a mixture of relief and surprise. Suddenly my suffering had a purpose.
Turns out, he was so right. From that day forward, while my suffering did not immediately decrease, the weight of it did. Years later, when I ran across the following quote from Mother Teresa, I realized that I had experienced the “kiss of Jesus.” May your suffering bring you close enough to Jesus that he can kiss you, too!
Suffering will never be completely absent from our lives. So don’t be afraid of suffering. Your suffering is a great means of love, if you make use of it, especially if you offer it for peace in the world. Suffering in and of itself is useless, but suffering that is shared with the passion of Christ is a wonderful gift and a sign of love. Christ’s suffering proved to be a gift, the greatest gift of love, because through the suffering our sins were atoned for. Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that he can kiss you (No Greater Love).
All quotes from Mother Teresa’s No Greater Love are used with permission. Copyright 1997, 2001 by New World Library. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.