Catholic Scriptures on Suffering

By Lisa Graas

One of the most useful sites on the internet is Scripture Catholic which offers Scripture references for Catholic teaching in a handy indexed format. The site was put together by Catholic apologist and author John Salza. I strongly recommend that you bookmark it.

Below are the references Mr. Salza put together for Catholic teaching on suffering.  Unless we know what actually happened on the Cross, we cannot know the fullness of what God has done for us, so I’m offering these references here for those who suffer and who are having trouble understanding the meaning and value of their sufferings. Also recommended: “Love Beyond All Telling” at the website of the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery.


Matt. 10:38 – Jesus said, “he who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Jesus defines discipleship as one’s willingness to suffer with Him. Being a disciple of Jesus not only means having faith in Him, but offering our sufferings to the Father as He did.

Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34 – Jesus said, “if any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Jesus wants us to empty ourselves so that God can fill us. When we suffer, we can choose to seek consolation in God and become closer to Jesus.

Luke 9:23 – Jesus says we must take up this cross daily. He requires us to join our daily temporal sacrifices (pain, inconvenience, worry) with His eternal sacrifice.

Luke 14:27 – Jesus said, “whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” If we reject God because we suffer, we fail to apply the graces that Jesus won for us by His suffering.

John 7:39 – Jesus was first glorified on the cross, not just the resurrection. This text refers to John 19:34, when Jesus was pierced on the cross by the soldier’s lance.

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Editor’s note: Jesus calls on us to voluntarily take up our own individual crosses and follow him. I doubt he ever intended for the institutional church to involuntarily impose the heavy crosses of scandal and corruption on the faithful, but he certainly knew such things would occur.

Evidently, any cross suffered for the cause of Jesus Christ is worth carrying.

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