Sunday, July 8, 2018

On this 6th Sunday after Trinity - comforting others using your own experience.

Dear Fathers, Brothers & Sisters in Christ

" Use your experience of suffering to comfort others"

Am I really recommending this ? No, I dont wish anyone to suffer, but I do know that nobody escapes from it.  No matter how much pain we have to bear, there comes still a moment that through our own suffering , we can be of comfort to others.

How much support has already been founded by people, who suffered from a traumatic illness themselves? I am thinking of aids and cancer. Nearly always one would be received by someone, who had experienced the bitter pain and the sadness as such, therefore their own pain was transferred into help, understanding and offcourse comfort.
If we look for comfort ourselves amongst people, then we must go to someone, who will understand us, because life has modelled them that way.

To offer comfort to others and receiving comfort from our God Himself is also a Biblical principle. Have a read of  II Corinthians 3:6. " The God of all comfort, Who is a comfort in all our saidness, which enables us, who are under pressure , to comfort those with the same type of comfort, with which our God comforted us.

To be comforted by our God is available for every sincere Catholic Christian, eventhough it takes us sometime  to see that.
There comes a moment when we realize that Jesus gives us comfort and courage in this life  and with His help , we will see that our future without pain and sadness is really with Him. It is across the verge of Jordan, i.e. with our Lord Himself.

There with the comfort given to us by our God , we are able to comfort others, through our experiences of life , we can be of support to others with big problems. Nobody lives for him or herself,  we share ourselves with our neighbours in the same way as Jesus shares Himself with us and others.

Perhaps you find it difficult to comfort others, because it reminds you of your own pain, but it is still much more meaninful to offer comfort then to be burdened down by our pain or to be very afraid.

Jesus comforts us, He can do this, because He knows all about suffering.
Let us then, with His help offer comfort to our neighbours.
That is not always easy, that can be hard work, but is hard work that fills God's hart with joy.

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province,
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne

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