Scritto il 13/02/2022
Thomas Huber

"I complete in my flesh what is lacking in Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body which is the Church" (Col. 1:24). With these words of St. Paul, John Paul II opens his Apostolic Letter "Salvifici Doloris" on the Christian meaning of human suffering, cited in our Constitutions in Article 3. By suffering we must not mean only physical suffering, illness and suffering of the body. The terrain of human suffering is much broader: there are, in fact, physical suffering, moral suffering and suffering of a spiritual nature.
But why suffering? Christ gave the answer to the question about suffering and its salvific value. "By working redemption through suffering, Christ raised human suffering together to the level of redemption. Therefore also every man, in his suffering, can become a sharer in Christ's redemptive suffering" (Salvifici Doloris, no. 19).

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Reading these words of John Paul II, the reference to Article 2 of our Constitutions is immediate: "The Servants of Suffering make their own the attitudes with which Christ embraced suffering in order to make a gift of His consolations to His brethren."
The originality of our Charism consists in re-proposing the intrinsic value of suffering, in proclaiming the "Higher Gospel" of suffering to all.

This is the vocation of the Servants of Suffering. In this way they wish to be continuators of Padre Pio's mission, as John Paul II said in his special audience to the Servants of Suffering on December 2, 2004: "Follow in the footsteps of Padre Pio, whose teachings are always of great relevance; be constantly inspired by them. Be apostles, like him, of prayer and suffering! Prayer enlightens the heart and makes it more ready to accept suffering; suffering, welcomed with docile abandonment in God, opens the soul to understanding the pain of others."

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