The Extraordinary Power of Suffering

Last week, Adrianne Adderley, an extraordinary woman that we members of the Susanka Clan are proud to call “friend,” wrote an equally extraordinary story for LifeSiteNews. It recounts the devastating sorrow Adrianne recently suffered when she lost her fifth son, Phillip, to a miscarriage. And it also speaks of the way in which her suffering, (and her earnest desire to link that suffering to the suffering of Christ), had a profound effect on many around her — and on one unexpected person in particular.

The morning came, and there was no room at the hospital. The Women’s Health unit was full up. Wait till tonight. I spent half the day in my ice cavern, reading “Macbeth,” talking “Macbeth,” watching the seeping tide of grief slink in and lick at my boots and then slip away. Each time it stayed closer. By afternoon I could not easily move, I was so sodden. I prayed over and over: Accept this suffering, my God. Unite my tiny griefs to Your grief on the Cross; give my little sacrifice value by uniting it with Your perfect sacrifice. Unite my worthless sacrifice to Your perfect one.

A powerful testimony to the many ways in which our sufferings can bear rich fruit, even as we struggle to understand them. And while I cannot begin to fathom the suffering Adrianne has experienced over the last few weeks, I am sure that the richness of the fruits it has born in such a short time must be a comfort to her.

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Joseph Susanka has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. Currently residing in Lander, Wyoming -- "where Stetsons meet Birkenstocks" -- he is a columnist for Crisis Magazine and the Patheos Catholic portal.

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