Skip to main content

Offer it up

When in pain, or frustrated with a situation, my much holier husband would sometimes say to me, "Have you offered it up?"

Me, not being so holy, would think, "Really? Do I have to?" And I would get angry.  Mainly because I had not thought of it.

For those of you not familier with the term, we are taught in our faith, our Catholic faith, that none of our pain, whether physical, mental or emotional, is in vain.  There is value in suffering.  It is called Redemptive Suffering.  We can be transformed by it and we can help to transform when we unite our suffering with Christ's suffering.  When we "offer it up" for the benefit of others.  As you can tell, I am not a theologian.  But, if you are interested in a more profound description of the topic, you should read Redemptive Suffering by Fr Sam Tiesi.

Anyways, I always thought I had a good grasp on the topic.  I have been through tough times, I have had physical pain (3 c-sections, one in which the epidural had not taken and I could feel the pain as they cut into my skin) and many of those times I consciously prayed through it all and asked God to take my pain and use it for some greater purpose.  But,I have gotten better at it since I started training for my marathon. I am not kidding.

I love running, but there have been runs that have not loved me back.  They were hard and I was in pain for more than one of them.  And during those times, I could have: (1) given up and walked home (2) gotten angry about the fact that I was in pain and focus on it or (3) pray through it and offer it up for any number of people that I knew could really use prayers.

I chose #3.

Why has marathon training given me a greater appreciation for "offering it up"?  First, because this is the first time that the pain was optional.  With the c-sections, I had to go through those to have my three boys.  But, I chose to run.  I chose to challenge my body.  And I chose the aches and the pains that came with the long runs.  There have been times, with long hours on the road, that the only thing that had kept me going is prayer.  Offering it up.  I would consciously pray for the little baby girl that was born way too early and is struggling for life.  I would pray for others I knew that asked for prayers.  I asked God to take any physical discomfort I was feeling and use it for His Glory. 

And, so, it may seem crazy that I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will be my second marathon, even before running my first.  But it is for a greater purpose.  I am running with the Archdiocese Run for Vocations Team.  I have done the 10K with the Run for Vocations for the last two years and have loved it.  I was more than happy to raise money for the seminarians.  But, I get it now.  I want to offer up my training, each step made, each mile pounded out, for the priests and seminarians of our Archdiocese.  It took training for the National Marathon for me to realize the power in my training and giving it all to Him.

Comments

  1. Funny you write this because I told my husband I'm not training for another marathon during lent!!! This is my 4th lent marathon, and each one has been full of suffering LOL!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm really not into optional pain:D hahaha

    But seriously good for you:)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Gift (Our NFP story) Part 2

(You can read  Part 1 here

     So, by the time Andrew was 18 months old, we knew God was saying no to having more children at the time.  And, as mentioned before, He provided so much peace about it, that we knew we had discerned correctly.  Yet, even with that peace, I had to mourn the fact the we might not ever have any more children.  Yes, we were still open to life, of course, but from the time after Andrew’s birth, until today, we practiced NFP faithfully to avoid pregnancy.  And it took time to accept that we might not have any more children.  There were times when I would hold a friend’s new born baby and then go home and cry because I knew I might not ever know the joy of holding my own baby again.  We live in a community where life is celebrated and families are large.  Usually more than one friend is pregnant at a time.  In those early days, each pregnancy announcement was met with great joy for the friend, but often left me with an empty feeling.  I understood, in many way…

My verse for the year

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.   Isaiah 6:48


There are boxes being unpacked in our home.  Boxes packed and meant to be unpacked in a different home, our new home, in a matter of two weeks.  


About two weeks before Christmas things changed.  Situations changed.  And what we were convinced was God's will just months before, seemed so unlike it now.  Things beyond our control happened and suddenly we were praying and we felt that the best and only solution was to walk away from this new house.  And at the end of  a week of uncertainty, anxiety and tension, once the decision was made to walk away from the house, there was a great deal of peace.   But, as the dust settles from the decision, even though we know it is the best for everyone involved, there is still sadness, still this sense of loss.  As we have prayed again and again, we know each of all of the steps we have made in this whole house journey …

On Waiting

This past weekend we went to a book party for a priest friend who had his second book Living the Beatitudes:A Journey to Life in Christ published last fall.  The party was hosted by another Catholic author.  And, after the cake was cut and people were sitting quietly, the host of the party began to speak.  He began to talk about how great this book is and how insightful so much of it is.  Then he began to share quotes from it.  And I felt as if he chose two of them for me:

"Waiting is the training ground of trust."

"Beauty is the crescendo of waiting"
Now, although we have this book and my husband has read it, I have not (sorry, Fr. B).  But that night, I sat with the book while my hubby and I sat down to attempt to watch a movie and I scoured the book for the above quotes.  Too shy to ask the host for the pages for these quotes, I skimmed page by page until I found them.  And after I found the first quote, I was confronted with line after line about waiting.  I read…