We all laugh about it, but my grandma's words are actually quite wise. She lost one of her sons when he was 16 in a tragic accident. Dennis was working on a motorcycle in the garage with his friend, who dropped a match into a puddle of gasoline. The explosion sent Dennis to hospital. Ninety percent of his body was covered in severe burns. It was bad, but the doctor said, "Dennis is going to make it." He died five days later.
How did my grandma make it through? By clinging to the Blessed Mother, she always said. Mary knew what it was like to watch her Son suffer and die. I know that she carried my grandma through that time.
I wish I could have known my grandma longer. She passed away when I was only 4 after a stroke. But she left those words of wisdom behind. "Offer it up." I may not have the heavy burdens in my life that my grandma did, but when I stub my toe or get cut off while driving or spill my smoothie in my purse (totally did that yesterday!), instead of cursing or complaining, I can offer those small discomforts to the Lord. Whatever trials are going on in your life, I encourage you to cling to Christ and to his mother and "offer it up."
You can read more about suffering and sacrifice in these OSV Newsweekly articles:
- "The Purpose of Pain" by Lorene Hanley Duquin
- "Resurrection and bodily suffering" (Q&A) by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion
- "Why Catholics make the sign of the cross" by Bert Ghezzi
- "Why self-control is necessary during Lent – and everyday life" – by Emily Stimpson