What is your relationship with pain?

Catholic and Diverse
What is your relationship with pain?

What is your relationship with pain?

Written by: Dr. Alice Prince

What is your relationship with pain, challenges, and struggles in your life? I found myself reflecting on this question today as I navigated through some rough patches. Do I instinctively yearn to escape these trials? I confess that, at times, I do. Do I bask in the joy of my blessings, showing gratitude for the good things in my life, trying not to concentrate on my troubles? Yes, I do that too. And do I sometimes attempt to shut out discomfort, hoping that by ignoring it, I can make it disappear? Do I find myself comparing my own pain, struggles, and challenges to those of others, thinking that theirs are more significant, thereby possibly invalidating my own feelings? These questions often cross my mind.

But here's what I've come to realize: Pain, challenges, and struggles are an integral, inseparable, and complex part of life. Grief and adversity are integral components that shape the core of our being. Instead of pleading with God to remove these burdens from my path, I've embarked on a journey of growth, seeking maturity in how I respond to them. My prayer now is not for God to take them away but to guide me through them. “God do not remove them let me GROW through them!”

Imagine a tree…

Imagine a tree weathering a ferocious storm. The winds howl, and the rain pours relentlessly. In the midst of a cyclone, the tree's roots dig deeper into the earth. Its trunk, battered by the forces of nature, grows stronger. Its branches tossed and turned multiply in number when the storm subsides. And as the sun rises, its leaves flourish in newfound abundance. In the same way, I am learning to shift my relationship with pain, challenges, and struggles when they inevitably enter my life.

My aspiration is to grow in wisdom and to heed the insights bestowed upon me by God. Just as the resilient tree flourishes amidst adversity, so too do I endeavor to thrive and evolve through the challenges that life presents. For it is in these very moments that I seek not just to endure but to thrive, anchored by the unwavering presence of divine guidance.

Spirits unbroken…

Let us take to heart the wisdom found in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV): "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." In the storms of life, let us remember that we, too, can weather them and emerge stronger, our spirits unbroken, our roots anchored deep, and our branches reaching for the sky.

Weekly Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we gather in prayer this week, we thank you for the gift of life and the opportunity to grow and learn through both joys and challenges. We come before you, seeking guidance, strength, and understanding.

Help us to embrace the storms in our lives, just as a tree becomes stronger through adversity. Grant us the wisdom to see your guidance in difficult times, knowing that you are always with us.

Teach us to trust in you with all our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding but acknowledging your divine plan. May you make our paths straight, even when they seem unclear.

Please guide us as we reflect on the following questions throughout the week.

In Jesus name, we pray,



Reflection Questions

  1. How have I responded to pain, challenges, and struggles in my life? Have I sought to escape them, embraced them, or tried to ignore them? How can I change my relationship with these difficulties to grow stronger?
  2. Can I identify moments in my life when adversity has led to personal growth, increased resilience, or a deepening of my faith? How might these experiences help me face future challenges with greater confidence?
  3. In what ways can I trust in the Lord more fully with all my heart and lean less on my own understanding? How can I submit to God's guidance in all aspects of my life to ensure that my paths are made straight?

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