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The Promise of Much to Suffer

April 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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The Promise of Much to Suffer

Our Lady of Fatima (Week 3 of 8)

“Then you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your comfort.”

Mary to the 3 children at Fatima, May 13, 1917

Our reading today takes us on quite a journey, though it doesn't go very far.

Our three shepherd children—Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco—have been in the same area, and yet they have had two divine interventions.

The first and second were with the Angel (perhaps Michael himself?), who came to teach them to pray.

The final encounter in today's reading was with Mary herself.

These events were anything but normal, but they happened in the most ordinary circumstances, to the most ordinary children.

And yet, in the midst of that ordinary, we see quite remarkable changes.

These three children go from skipping along and playing in the fields to offering their sufferings in reparation for sinners. They were transformed by an encounter with the divine.

There's a lesson in that for me and a reminder that my everyday, ordinary, mundane circumstances are packed with opportunities for transformation.

My “field” is enclosed with walls and scattered with toys. It's full of dishes and laundry and work. There are drink refills, endless tasks, and never ending email.

And yet, where might I encounter the divine? How might my sufferings unite me with God and help those who need it?

Some of the most intense suffering Lucia faced was the scorn of her family, and especially her mother. And yet, she persevered. The divine was greater than her suffering.

The divine made her suffering matter.

Suffering takes many forms, and sometimes the worst of it is the smallest and seemingly most inconsequential.

Let us, then, take heart from Mary's words to the children and remember that the grace we're given is all the comfort we need.

Reading Assignment:

Chapters 6-8

Discussion Questions:

1. What suffering are you facing? How might you turn it over to God or offer it for sinners?

2. Which historical details most resonated with you as you read today's reading?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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