Catholics/Easing Christ's suffering.


Hello, and thank-you for your time and insight! I understand that we may, and are encouraged to, offer up our own pains, sufferings and sacrifices to be joined with the Lord's on the Cross for the benefit of souls in Purgatory and in some small way the furthering of God's Redemptive work in the world; I wonder if our pains may be offered up to literally ease Christ's own suffering on the Cross over 2,000 years ago (with the hope that it is not in any way heretical to pose the question - I ask in ignorance and, I hope, innocence). Thanks again!

I guess you could -- but here is what I think.  Jesus suffered as much as he could possibly suffer -- that was his will and the will of the father.  Why remains a mystery (we can talk about how he "paid the price" for our sins, or satisfied God's anger with us, or purchased us from the devil, but those are all metaphors, and there is something wrong with each of them theologically).  There were two moments on the cross when it seemed as though Jesus was rejecting relief from his sufferings; first when he was offered vinegar mixed with gall (or myrrh, according to Mark).  It was common for relatives of the crucified to offer something to ease the pain -- they had opium in those days, and other potions.  Gall was one of them and myrrh another.  Both of these may have referred to the same thing, or a mixture containing both; they both had some effect on the nervous system that would ease pain.  The second event was when Jesus was offered wine just before he died, which he did drink.  In small amounts, wine would probably have heightened his senses and made him wake up a bit.  So coupled with so many predictions of his passion, and his determination to do what his Father wanted him to do, his one desire was to suffer as much as he possibly could.  Maybe if we offered our suffering to ease his, he would say, "thanks but no thanks, let me give your offer to someone else, becauseI want my gift to you (my suffering and death) to be as great as it can possibly be."


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Donald Higby


Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.


Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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