I was having a Sacred Conversation with a colleague this week, who is writing a beautiful book about how the Blessed Mother, and the Mysteries of the Rosary, have healed, consoled, and transformed her through many life struggles. 

Sometimes, however, we hang onto things. We can't surrender them. We like to hold onto them. These "attachments" to old pain, distrust, and suffering impact our spiritual well-being and our relationships. 

St. Paul, who endured much suffering in his life, transformed the history of Christianity in Europe, Asia, and around the world through his writings to the Romans, Corinthians, Thessalonians, Galatians, Ephesians, Jews, Gentiles, his beloved students and more. He says, “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 3:8). These are tough words. They invite us to have a Sacred Conversation with ourself--or perhaps with those who caused pain in our life. They force us to confront our own "dragons." And to admit that our suffering, loss, and pain pale in comparison to the surpassing worth of knowing God and having a relationship with him.

However, great our suffering might be, Jesus gets it. He suffered to death--on a Cross--for you, for me, for St. Paul, and for my colleague. He suffered for all of us. He wants to bear your suffering too. Give it to him. Surrender it. Leave it at the foot of His cross. 

You might be saying, "No! Chris. I need that pain. It's all that I have. It's all that I know. In fact, I kind of like holding onto it. Because I can wallow in it and hold it over other peoples' heads. And--truly, I don't know this guy Jesus well enough to trust that he'll take it. What would he do with my pain and suffering? What would I be left with, if He did take it?"

These are deep questions. But they're good ones. Why don't you have a Sacred Conversation with someone you trust about them? Don't have the courage to talk to the person? Well, then start by asking Jesus for some courage. Or, perhaps, ask him to send his Spirit upon you to give you the courage before you bring up this painful issues in conversation with your therapist, friend, or partner. Jesus is the Divine Physician-- see what he speaks into your heart.

For all those suffering, I offer this prayer: 

I pray in Jesus’s name that—if it is His will—he send His Divine Counselor to console, heal, and strengthen you through his great mercy. I pray whatever the “lot” is that you are carrying, He may show you that it’s okay to leave it at the foot of His Cross—not just some of it. All of it. I pray, and believe, that soon, you will experience the healing, cathartic release of “laugh-crying” when you lay that last ounce of pain, frustration, anger, resentment, mistrust--or whatever it might be that you're holding onto--at the foot of Cross.You are a beloved and forgiven child of God. 

If you can’t let it go, just imagine Mary, the mother of God--mother of us all--who is standing right beside you, at the cross. She has her arm around you as you look up into her son's beautiful, but battered eyes, while he speaks these words to you, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). And in that moment you will realize that those words are forever being spoken for you and with you.

Those words of divine mercy and forgiveness are being spoken for all who have sinned against you. For all whom you've sinned against. And for all of us who have sinned against Him. I pray that in that moment of surrender, He shows you that there is no hole so big in your heart that He can’t fill. I pray that your work to surrender is fruitful, consoling, that this too shall pass and that you count these wounds--not as loss--but as gain in Christ Jesus and rejoice in them!

Read my new book from Sophia Institute Press

Sacred Conversations a book by Dr. Chris Reed available where ever books are sold

About the author 

Christopher Reed, Ph.D.

Author of "Sacred Conversations: How God Wants us to Communicate."

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