St. Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, stated:

In the Cross of Christ not only is the Redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed. … Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. … Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.

We all encounter some form of suffering in our life - physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.  Even if we enjoy good health and a good life, there are still “little” sacrifices that we come across throughout the day.  St. Francis de Sales told us, “ An action of small value performed with much love of God is far more excellent than one of a higher virtue, done with less love of God.” That idea was also the foundation of St. Therese of Lisieux's “Little Way.”


Everyone can join the “Silent Army of the Suffering” by praying and offering up their daily sacrifices (no matter how small) for the benefit of those souls who need our prayers the most.  Below is a prayer that Fr. Starzynski wrote for the intentions of vocations in the Arlington Diocese, but you can include any other intention you may have:

In union with Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, I offer my suffering, my life, my joys, my pains for ______________.  I am confident that the offering up of my suffering and my discomfort has great value in the sight of God and will obtain from Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit and in union with Mary at the foot of the Cross, a showering of graces and divine favors for my intentions that I have now offered through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. 

A more general prayer is the traditional Morning Offering:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.

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