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Why must we suffer?

Mark and I were out to dinner on New Year’s Eve and decided to make a Top 10 Happenings of 2010 list.

My Mom’s successful back surgery, the birth of our Godchild, my Dad’s wedding, our first trip to Arizona – the list went on and on. We soon realized there was no way we could select just ten happenings.

I was overwhelmed with the many blessings God has bestowed upon me, despite how little I deserve them. I can’t comprehend the degree to which I’ve been blessed in 2010 any more than I can comprehend the hardships and suffering so many others have been dealt.

I’m at a loss for the “right” words when faced with opportunities to comfort those who are suffering, especially when asked the question, “Why?” In times of trouble, I’ve often wrestled with this question. For answers, I need not look further than my favorite saint.

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, or Padre Pio as many call him, used the example below to explain our inability to understand the reasoning behind our hardships.

“There’s a woman who is embroidering. Her son, seated on a low stool, sees the work, but in reverse. He sees the knots of the embroidery, the tangled threads…He says, ‘Mother, what are you doing? I can’t make out what you are doing!’ Then the mother lowers the embroidery hoop and shows the good part of the work. Each color is in place and the various threads form a harmonious design. So, we see the reverse side of the embroidery because we are seated on the low stool.”

To all my friends and family counting their blessings and looking forward to the new year, I hope 2011 brings you happiness and peace. To those of you who are struggling today, trust in the Lord and He will make your paths straight!

Example is an excerpt from Padre Pio: The True Story by C. Bernard Ruffin, page 143. Very interesting read!


  1. You can always trust Padre Pio to have a really great way of explaining things! As time goes by, I find more and more that my favorite saints are Franciscan.

  2. admin admin

    Agreed! I didn’t know much about Padre Pio before reading this book, but his example has already had a powerful impact on me.

    Also, on a semi-related note, the picture of Padre Pio carrying the Infant Jesus on your blog is very beautiful.

  3. […] OK, I’m stealing this from another blog. Not because I’m that desperate for new material, not because I’m lazy, but because I needed this a few days ago, and it is really relevant. For the record, I stole this quote from Adri Szewczyk and her post “Why must we suffer?“ […]

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