Is There Value in Suffering?


faith-sufferingLast summer, when I was in the midst of a severe depressive episode, a good friend told me that my suffering had value, that she was sure that my angst and tears would serve some purpose. “This isn’t all wasted, “she said, “suffering has redemptive power.” She sent me an excerpt of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on suffering, “It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls. Suffering, more than anything else, makes present in the history of humanity the powers of Redemption.”

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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6 Responses
  1. Betsy

    I sympathize with you or any one going through depression. But does suffering with depression make one so ugly you do not care so much you trample on your parents, children and spouse? You lie, cheat & destroy? Our daughter has done just this. How do you know when it is depression or nothing more than a ugly conniving manipulating adult you call your daughter, a mother & a wife.

  2. Hi Betsy, me again. I have read two of your posts now where you are questioning your daughter’s diagnosis. You have berated her, slandered her, without her right of reply.

  3. Betsy

    Does suffering depression give any one the right to hurt other people’s rights? I truly sympathies with any one going through with this illness. This is like any other illness. If we knew more what the other person is going through maybe we can understand or help.

    I suffer from terminal illness and the road ahead is short & rough. Does this give me the right to distroy my 99 year old mothers peace of mind? Most certainly not.

  4. Julie

    Betsy I am so sorry to hear of your terminal Illness, its time to let go of your daughter and walk away if their can be no change or healing. Betsy the most important thing for you is to not allow anger or bitterness to consume your soul. This is the only life you will live and you have a choice to make. Forgiveness is hard when your in the midst of the battle but it will only cause you more grief pain and problems if you don’t. Make your time count Betsy don’t throw away your happiness.

    1. Betsy

      Thank you Julie for your concern & advice. We are trying very hard to take care of our needs first.

      Our daughter’s behavior is much worse than my husbands & my illness. She has to live with her own self & reflect as we all do. There are no pill or running away from your self. If a child can not love or respect there own parents but has all the sympathy with someone they hardly know has other motive. Her jealousy & hate destroy every thing in her path …. this can’t be depression alone. Does depression & lack of sleep cause such behavioral changes ? Does depression make you lie & cause mischief?

      We are blessed with our son & his wife, family & friends & will have plenty left over after we are gone. As a thank you to all we are going on a cruse for a week & my 99 mother is coming with us.

      Note: Some family members suffer from depression but they don’t behave like this.
      Hate and anger is much sicker than one with Cancer.

  5. Mary

    You have no idea how much your words continue to help me. I consider you and your readers my personal support group! The passage from 2 Corinthians is my go-to mantra for encouragement. Sometimes when my mind is so jumbled that I can hardly function, I will repeat “My grace is sufficient for you” over and over in my mind. His grace gives us the power to put one foot in front of the other, even when you are convinced you will never see the end of the path.