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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2012 > Sermon 600 : A Thorn in the Flesh: Why We Suffer : 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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    Sermon 600 : A Thorn in the Flesh: Why We Suffer : 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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    Saint Paul conveys a unique and powerful perspective on suffering. What he called a "thorn in the flesh," was a suffering so great that it burdened him, prompted him to beg God for relief. But it is in this sort of suffering that we most acutely understand God's love. When all falls away, we have him, we cling to him and we are saved. And when we bear suffering leveled by others and offer it to Christ, we absorb it, we take it out of circulation, and ease the burden for others.
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vito benigno
Shalom Father Barron and may God bless you for not only this great teaching on St.Paul but all of your teachings!The saints along with the fact that they all suffered greatly had a great love for our Blessed Mother Mary.So, Father when we are weak we are actually strong in the LORD JESUS.When we unite whatever suffering we undergo to Christ it becomes Holy.Also, what you said Father about simply surender to GOD.We should not try to figure it out but simply know that he is working always for our better good and sanctification.MY LORD and my GOD have mercy on me when i do not focus on you but rather the circumstances.ST.THOMAS the APOSTLE pray for us!
7/3/2012 9:52:28 AM
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What a message of Hope, Fr. Barron! Profound wisdom in your
insights to suffering, and your genuine meekness comes through as you speak. Intercessary prayer requires the ability to offer up one's own suffering for the one prayed for. The ability to Praise God in All Things, as in the Psalms, is a difficult way to become obedient; aligning one's own will with the will of God; but what a truimph! God Speed!
7/3/2012 5:36:34 PM
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I am so blessed by this has made such a difference to me during a very difficult trial...God bless you Fr. Barron..I pray that you will never lose your zeal for God.
7/3/2012 8:34:17 PM
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Fr Barron...perhaps you can't explain the physics about your explanation of suffering, but I can, or at least a theory. In fact in the homilies you have done over the last 6-7 months you've mentioned something about science several times. Being able to ariculate the words scientists actually use would go a long way towards establishing crediblity with our academic circle.
7/4/2012 4:52:39 PM
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bill jakinovich
A very good message about the mystery of suffering. I wonder how other faiths deal with the problem of human suffering. I believe that for Buddhists suffering has to do with attachment. And the Jewish scriptures a chock full of emotionally realistic images of suffering (see Job). But suffering seems, sometimes, to be the central image of our Catholic faith. To ponder the dying messiah, Christ on the cross, is to connect the divine, through pain, with the experience of humanity in a very special way.
7/5/2012 1:19:57 PM
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Suffering can also bring us to a place of silence. A place where we don't need to deal with the
thorn(s.) "My grace is sufficient" also expresses an acknowledgement that all good things come from God. Knowing that, God knows what we need, even before we ask. If God knows, then we don't need to ask, right? If God knows, then all I need to do is wait patiently. If my will is His will, what is needed will come about sooner or later,because my desire is God's desire, right?
Discernment comes after we know that God's will is our will. Then the question is, "Do we play a part, or have a responsibility to help the will of God become a reality?"
7/5/2012 6:33:53 PM
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Frank Corless
Only discovered you in the last month but finding how you clarify things very stimulating.

You mention not wanting to attempt the meta physics of offering pain and suffering for the benefit as others fitting the physics law that says there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action. When our greed is our action we tend to take from others. A bit like those now cornering the food markets to set their own prices which those with can afford but are becoming real issues in the undeveloped world. God provides enough if only we share. If it happens at this level then why not with pain and suffering. It is all energy at our level
7/5/2012 6:57:58 PM
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RE:Carla Enjoyed your input, especially the silent place where we can wait on God. Your words reminded me of Psalm 139, God knowing our needs before we formally express them. Your question about our part in God's will is worth contemplating. Are we windows for Him to work through if we are aligned to His will?
God Speed!
7/6/2012 5:17:05 PM
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I love that God uses the lowly for His good works. The lowly are more approachable and transparent and their flaws make them more relatable. Persecution provokes action. We seem to clutch on to things most when we are fearful of losing them.
7/7/2012 3:04:36 AM
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... you're my hero, Fr. Barron.
7/7/2012 5:49:25 AM
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Avila Power
I so look forward to your homilies every week. You are so inspired,,thank you so much. Such food for thought.
7/7/2012 5:52:11 AM
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Fr Mark Mohan
Fr Robert, Brother Priest, Your insights are helping greatly in a troubled Church in Ireland. Thank you for nourishing us!
7/7/2012 11:18:31 AM
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Who is "angel of Satan"? Any why is capital S used in the word Satan?
7/8/2012 4:44:54 AM
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St. Paul has given me hope to-day. I had a wonderful Spiritual Director and for some months he really assisted me in my Spiritual Journey. Then he got into a crisis when his Congregation kicked him out. The Sisters of Mary Immaculate, who run our Divine Mercy Spiritual Centre asked me to give him Sanctuary in my humble home until the Cardinal resolved the problems. For several months, all went well. Father was so grateful. He appreciated how kind I was to him and how well I treated my House Maid. On my part, I was glad Jesus had chosen to seek shelter in my Home in the person of his Ordained Priest. Then out of the blue he ganged up with my House Maid and they used to exchange mobile phone smses, insulting me behind my back. One day he wrote to her that even if I pray and fast it was all useless. I was a hypocritical Pharisaic Catholic, and very bad old woman, even though I was so prayerful. When I by sheer coincidence came to see these smses, I was horrified. I believe Father was right and resolved forthwith to abandon my daily Holy Communions and Weekly Confessions since, if he was right, I was piling one Sacrilegious Sin upon an "Everest"of Sacrileges. When I told him I had read the messages, his reaction was callous to say the least. "Now you know everything; I have nothing to are too proud to take correction or accept advice". But I told him insulting me behind my back with my Maid was not a correction or advice and I would need advice before I got back to the Sacraments. I had to get immediate advice or I would lose my mind. When I sought advice from another Priest, he informed me this was a serous attack from the Evil One and I must not abandon my Sacramental Life. He stated that Father had no right to judge me, let alone abuse me with my own Employee. He had by then moved out of my home and the Maid could not continue working for me, so I dismissed her with 2 months'notice. I had, in fact, asked Father to get get another job, which he did not even respond to. I have now forgiven them both unconditionally. I even took steps to twice apologize to Father in writing and then, personally, because I knew I, too, must have contributed to their turning against me. I was resentful of the way my life had been turned up-side-down, I no longer had any privacy because the House Maid had moved to sleep in my Daughters'Bedroom next to me and we were sharing my bathroom. At 73 years, this was difficult and embarrassing. So I believed my sense of resentment turned them against me, because I had in confidence expressed to my Maid my displeasure about the close relationship that was developing between them and told her it was wrong as I had advised her before Father moved into my Home. He was an Ordained Priest, and it was imperative that she accords him the reverence he deserves. I did not know then, that she told him everything I told her.

But this reading, and St. Paul's acceptance of all kinds of tribulations, ridicule and everything else for the Glory of God, has given me more determination to accept those abuses and offer them to Jesus in Reparation of my many sins. I now believe Jesus allowed me to suffer these abuses so that I can learn to be humble, compassionate and forgiving because my Cardinal sin is Pride and my monumental ego. This it is, that was actually hurt most by those insults. and ingratitude for my hospitality and the way I kindly treated my House Maid.

I beg all of you on this Website to pray for me so that God can grant me the Virtues of Humility, Tolerance, Patience, Kindness, Compassion, re-create my heart into a Merciful, Forgiving one, always and everywhere. I must learn how to accept adversities of life and offer them to God with gratitude as the means He is using to help me in my daily striving to conversion.
7/9/2012 5:35:25 AM
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Your story made me think of Jesus in the desert being tempted by satan in 3 ways, turning stone to bread, leaping into danger, and the offer of power through the submission to darkness. Remember, after such temptations, God's angels ministered to Him. May those same angels come to you and minister a refreshment of Faith, Hope and Love. Many prayers! God Speed!
7/9/2012 3:40:01 PM
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Felt discouraged by your sermon, initially.
Had a disturbed sleep last night.
But woke in the morning to the words
'Your Heavenly Father knows what you need even before you ask Him.' and
'Apart from me you can do nothing.'

My problems are not that big as I make them to be... In the light of God's Grace.

Thank you Fr. Barron
7/9/2012 11:12:02 PM
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Thank you, Kathy for your kind words and your promise to pray for me. Truly Jesus sent me His Angels to minister to me in the persons of the Priests through whom I confessed my sins to Him for my resentments and the talks I used to have with my Maid cautioning her on how to relate to Father, not knowing she was reporting everything to him.

Kathy I was so devastated such that the day I missed Holy Communion, I did not sleep the whole night. But by God's Grace, I am a Cradle Catholic and I knew I had to seek help immediately. Otherwise, had I been a Catholic whose Faith Foundation was not very well grounded, I would have walked out of the Catholic Church never, ever to come back. And Satan would have won.

We need to pray often for our Priests so that they can resist the temptation to condemn those in their Pastoral Care and who, for one reason or another, annoy them so that they do not scatter Christ's Flock, instead of ministering to them and drawing them back to His Sheepfold with compassion and Charity.
7/10/2012 1:51:33 AM
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