The Pain No One Sees

Where shall I place this pain that I endure?  No one can see it, not even me… some say that I should wear something that will help to relieve it but since the pain is everywhere  that special something would have to cover my entire body.

So, what are the answers to this pain?

Why does God send it?

What is it for?

One day after I had gone on retreat, I had received such great blessings.  There were moments that I knew somehow I had touched the hem of Christs garment and I was being healed.  I had no pain…   11 days since this retreat I find myself enduring this pain and struggling with disciplined prayer time and I begin to realize that it is Christ in His passion that is so very close to me right now.

In our brokenness are we truly broken?

In our pain physical or emotional are we alone?

We are never alone as our great faith in Christ Jesus has set us free!

It is in my pain that Christ Jesus is so very near and uniting his heart with mine.


Keep Trusting

When I found out that our unborn baby was unlikely to live after birth, I truly believed God could heal him. I knew He had the power to fix Thomas’ diaphragmatic hernia and save me from so much suffering. But would He?

I pleaded with God. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I threw myself down before Him and asked Him to have pity on me. “I am not strong enough for this, Lord. I am so weak. I will never survive.”

But although I had full confidence in God’s power to perform miracles, I had to face the fact He might not grant one to me. I might have to give birth to my child, hold him as he died, bury him, and then grieve. In some ways, this seemed the most likely thing to happen.

And that’s what did happen. God chose not to heal my baby, Thomas. He chose not to spare me the deep pain of bereavement. He chose to let me, in all my weakness, suffer.

I look back over the years to Thomas’ death. I remember the crushing weight of grief, the black sunless world I lived in for a long time, the near-despair that threatened to consume me. I think about the pain that still lives hidden deep within me. And I look at God and I say, “Thank you.”

Thank you for not granting me a miracle and letting me suffer.

I could never have willingly asked for suffering. God knew this but He sent it anyway. And through that suffering He has drawn me closer to Him; suffering has changed who I am; suffering has made me so aware of God’s love for me… I could write so much about how the pain of losing a child has affected my life.

I imagine going back in time, and God saying, “ I could grant you a miracle or … if you are willing to trust Me, I would like to take you on a journey, filled admittedly with deep pain, but also overflowing with grace and love. Don’t worry about being weak as I will be there to give you My strength. What will it be?”

And I hope I could say, “Give me Your strength, Lord. I am willing to go where You lead.”

I wish I could have said that years ago. But I couldn’t. I was far too afraid.

Telling the end of a story is not always helpful to those in the middle of the journey. “That’s all right for you, Sue. You’re no longer bowed down by the great heavy weight of grief. You no longer wonder if you’ll get through each day. You know you survived. But me?”

I reply, “Keep trusting.”

The words “Jesus, I trust in You” were constantly on my lips while I was grieving. Trust God who loves you so very much. Everything that He allows is in His plan for you. Accept, trust and you will survive. Will it be easy? No. But then nothing of value ever is. And God is the greatest Gift of all.

By receiving suffering, I lost Thomas. Or did I? No, I still have my child. Of course, Thomas is not here with me but he is waiting.

And one day I will be with Thomas. I will be with God. I will have everything.

Please share more of my grief stories on my blog Sue Elvis Writes

Sin and Suffering and Finding Peace

I can remember looking at my newborn son in the NICU, his little body pierced by tubes and needles, connected to his life support system, and thinking, “Thomas, you are suffering because of sin.” A day later, I knew sin had caused his death.

My baby didn’t die as a result of a sinful act. He wasn’t the victim of violence or evil. He died a natural death caused by a health problem: Thomas was born with lungs too small for independent breathing and so he could never have lived. So why did I think my son died because of sin?

As I watched Thomas’ chest inflating and deflating, a machine taking the place of his inadequate lungs, I thought about what should have been, what would have been… if sin had not entered the world and upset the balance of nature. There would have been no disease, no pain, no newborn babies fighting for their lives, no mothers sorrowing, no tears, no death.

But there is sin and Thomas did die and I suffered.

I have always been a reader and I searched for books to help me cope with my sorrow. But in those early weeks of grief, I found it difficult to concentrate. Every time I opened a book and started to read, my mind almost instantly drifted away. The words were just a blur on the page. And then one day I picked up a book called Looking for Peace? Try Confession by Mary Ann Budnik. From the very first page, the words grabbed my attention.

A book on confession? I would never have imagined such a book could have helped me, a bereaved parent. But it did.

It’s been 12 years since I read that book and so the details have faded. But I do remember how engaging and easy the book was to read, and how it re-ignited that dying spark: my interest in life. Perhaps the book made me realise that the problem of evil in the world can only be put right by each and every one of us taking responsibility for our own sin.

I thought about Thomas dying in a world upset by sin and Jesus dying on the cross because of sin… and I didn’t want to sin. I also didn’t want to suffer but I realised that I was able to offer my sufferings to God, and this gave them value and helped me bear them. I knew I could unite my sufferings with those of Jesus to atone for sin.

Looking for Peace? Yes, I wanted to find peace.

I still struggle with sin. I know it will be a lifetime battle. But I did find peace. I found it in an unexpected place. I found peace in the confessional, in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Please visit my blog Sue Elvis Writes to share more of my grief posts

Finding Meaning in a Baby’s Death

When I was a newly bereaved parent I went along to a grief support group. Every month a few mothers would gather and we’d share our stories and our pain. Every month we talked about the same things. We went round and round in circles, going over the same ground and we never seemed to progress a step towards healing.

And although I appreciated the time the volunteers gave to the group to help mothers like me, eventually I had enough. I didn’t want to sit still any longer, wallowing in my misery.  I wanted to move forward. I wanted once again to know joy and to smile.  To do this, I had to find some meaning in my son’s death.  I pondered: Did he live and die for nothing? And so was my pain worthless? Or could I make some sense of the whole situation?

In my search for an answer I found myself thinking about God’s plan for my life, acceptance and trust, the cross and the value of suffering. My baby died and I was suffering. Was this suffering of value? Could I accept it? Could I trust God was looking after me? And would God eventually lead me to healing?

Does anyone else feel the need to move forward towards healing? Are you pondering such questions as mine?

Please feel welcome to share your thoughts and my post, Finding Meaning in a Baby’s Death on my blog Sue Elvis Writes, where they are many other grief stories.

Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa


“Lay woman from the diocese of Braga. At age 14 Alexandrina jumped from a window to escape a rapist; she was injured in the fall, paralyzed, and was bed-ridden for the rest of her life. Member of the Salesian Cooperators. Mystic and visionary. The last 13 years of her life she had the gift of inedia, living solely off daily Communion.
[Alexandrina Maria da Costa]
Feast Day:  October 13
4th Seer of Fatima
Uniting our sufferings to Christ Jesus on the Cross is so important in our lives today, don’t forget that this is a prayer that will do much more then you know.  Pray the Chaplet of Hannah’s Tears uniting your sufferings to Jesus Christ Crucified.  All at the foot of the altar where graces flow.


Blessed Alexandrina da Costa
        My Protectress
By Alexandrina Society Founder – Francis Reynolds
Alexandrina, as an unworthy sinner I ask you
To place me on a path of salvation,
To save my soul and help with your mission
Of saving other souls for God.
I implore you to plead for me
As I beg the grace to be holy,
To be pure, to be kind and to do
Only what is pleasing to God.
Then God will dwell in me and His blood
Will flow in my veins with my blood
And His Flesh will be with my flesh
And I will be with Jesus forever.
Oh, sweet and gentle Alexandrina, God gave
You power equal to that of the all-powerful and
Appointed you protectress of mankind. I ask you
To intercede for me in my time of need and protect
Me spiritually, physically and mentally through this
day/night through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen

Read more: 
Blessed Alexandrina                           official site

Purchase:  Booklet

The Cross the Unique Sacrifice

Our participation in Christ’s sacrifice

618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”.452 But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men.453 He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow [him]“,454 for “Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps.”455 In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries.456 This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.457

Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.458

619 “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (I Cor 15:3).

620 Our salvation flows from God’s initiative of love for us, because “he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins” (I Jn 4:10). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19).

621 Jesus freely offered himself for our salvation. Beforehand, during the Last Supper, he both symbolized this offering and made it really present: “This is my body which is given for you” (Lk 22:19).

622 The redemption won by Christ consists in this, that he came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28), that is, heloved [his own] to the end” (Jn 13:1), so that they might be “ransomed from the futile ways inherited from [their] fathers” (I Pt 1:18).

623 By his loving obedience to the Father, “unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8), Jesus fulfills the atoning mission (cf. Is 53:10) of the suffering Servant, who will “make many righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities” (Is 53:11; cf. Rom 5:19).


  1. The Redemptive Value of Christ’s Sacrifice

    Oct 26, 1988 – This truth of our faith does not exclude but demands the participationof each and every human being in Christ’s sacrifice in collaboration with 

  2. Catechism of the Catholic Church – PART 2 SECTION 2 CHAPTER 1 

    The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the …..participation in our Redeemer’s sacrifice which we celebrate in the Eucharist: 

  3. Eucharist as Sacrifice – Sacrament: Mass and Liturgy

    By our participation in the Holy Eucharist, we unite ourselves to Christ in HisSacrifice, pouring out our lives, with Him, in love of God and our neighbor. 

    Catechism – Catholic Culture

    Our participation in Christ’s sacrifice. 618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”. 452 But because in his incarnate 

The Power of the Cross

Sharing this from an email I received, blessings to you today!                                                                       Hannah’s Tears Ministry

PERHAPS the reason many of us are not growing in holiness is because we misunderstand how the power of God is applied in our lives. Mark explains in this episode how the transforming power of God works in a Christian’s life, and how it’s not too late for anyone to become a saint… To watch The Power of the Cross, go to

All Mark’s webcasts can be found at:  Embracing Hope TV

All Mark’s writings can be found at:
  Spiritual Food For Thought

Listen to Mark’s music on his official website:


Hannah’s Tears

Archbishop Fulton Sheen – The Woman I Love Part 4

We offer prayer support and comfort to the brokenhearted who suffer the pains of  infertility at any stage of life, difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or the early death of a child.  This ministry intercedes for Catholic/Christian doctors, nurses, and their supportive personnel. We also serve as a vehicle of education in the proper channels of Catholic fertility practices as well as offering information resources to those seeking fertility care and/or adoption.

Sacraments: Suffering can lead to salvation :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

By Brian Pizzalato

St. Paul’s understanding of suffering as a participation in salvation is especially evident when he speaks of how his suffering affects others.
In 2 Timothy Paul says, “Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2:3). Following this Paul speaks of his imprisonment for the preaching of the Gospel, “the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal” (v. 9).         continue

Sacraments: St. Paul explains the meaning of suffering :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Below is an article I found for our continued meditation and study on the value of suffering. 

Sacraments: St. Paul explains the meaning of suffering :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) 

By Brian Pizzalato

There is one person who stands out above all to give an answer to these deepest of questions, namely St. Paul. In St. Paul’s writings we find a greatly developed meaning of suffering. Pope John Paul II explains why St. Paul writes so much on suffering: “The Apostle shares his own discovery and rejoices in it because of all those whom it can help – just as it helped him – to understand the salvific meaning of suffering” (Salvifici Doloris, 1).

Two questions have plagued the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike: why is there suffering? Why does God allow suffering?  continue here

Infertility, Suffering & Anointing

Some of us have been called to the cross of “infertility or sub-fertility” sufferings.  Have you ever considered what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about anointing of the sick?  Don’t you consider that your situation is a problem of health?  Just as Hannah found herself at the Altar of the Lord (where the sacrificial offering took place in the temple)  and Fr. Eli confirmed that her prayer was heard, isn’t this something we should also consider as we seek to build our family?  Anointing and prayer from our holy priesthood?  If Jesus is seen as the Divine Healer and the priest is considered standing in the place of Christ, maybe we should consider seeking him for this prayer.  Just something to be considered as we are all seeking God’s will and healing hand upon our daily lives.  As we seek healing in the physical realm from our medical doctors so should we seek healing and help from our good holy priests within the Catholic Church.

God Bless!

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Illness in human life

1500 Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death.

1501 Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him.