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Pain (Management)

“Often when we find ourselves facing external and internal difficulties, our automatic response is to try to do something to lessen the intensity of our discomfort and make ourselves feel better. One way we try to lessen our pain is by suppressing it through activities like substance abuse, anger, comfort eating, distractions, or trying to control others. But an alternative to trying to lessen our discomfort is working to increase our ability to bear with it. To do that, however, we need to be able to lean into and be present with our pain….The person who is able to accept pain as part of his experience can inwardly rise above it. It is unmixed by the suffering of feeling stuck, hitting out, judgment against the pain, or mental scripts about it. At some point, acceptance may even transform itself into peace and gratitude.” (Robin Phillips)

“The truest sign of life is growth. And growth requires pain. So to choose life is, to some extent, to accept pain. Still, many reject this fact—which is as pointless as renouncing the law of gravity. They complain and whine as if their pain was an aberration of the natural and only correct state of affairs. In the extreme, these people may go to such lengths to avoid pain that they give up on life. They bury their hearts, or they drug themselves with narcotics or alcohol until they don’t feel anything anymore. The cruel irony is that, in the end, their attempted escape from pain becomes more painful than the pain they’re fleeing.” (Richard Paul Evans)

“If people want to get through the pain in their life by depending solely on their own resources, they’ll soon see how weak they are. Those who rely solely on God, without doing whatever is in their own power, will be disappointed. But those who, seriously and responsibly, do whatever they can and also humbly call upon God for help will understand the dynamics of faith, that is, of a thriving relationship with the living God.” (Pemptousia Partnership)

“Christ suffered as we humans suffer; He understands our sufferings because He fully endured human pain. Hence our afflictions become co-sufferings, assuring us that even pain has meaning and holy purpose. We are united to the Lord Jesus, bonded to Him. Whenever we suffer for Him, “the sufferings of Christ abound in us” (1 Corinthians 1:5). As a result, “our consolation also abounds through Christ” (vs. 5).” (Dynamis 8/26/2021)

“Christ prayed the night before His crucifixion, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) He ascended the Cross in free obedience, and no one forces us to take up our crosses either. Many problems and pains come upon us without our asking for them in this life, even to the point of death, and it is so easy to refuse to suffer in a spiritually health way. As Job’s wife suggested, we can “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) in response to losses, obstacles, and disappointments. We can refuse to offer our struggles to Christ and instead allow them to fuel our passions, destroy our faith, and corrupt our relationships with others. No one can keep us from doing so, for freedom is an intrinsic dimension of being in God’s image as human persons. Only we can unite ourselves to Christ in His Great Self-Offering for the salvation of the world. Regardless of the circumstances, we may always use our freedom to take up our crosses and refuse to fall into despair, for any instance of struggle, pain, disappointment, or suffering provides an opportunity to deny ourselves and follow our Lord.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


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