“Oh, Caleb, just offer it up!”
I’ve probably uttered this phrase in exasperation a few more times than necessary. It’s my go-to line when my kids complain too much about anything from being hungry to physical ailments. I must be honest, though, I really have never fully understood what the phrase means or how to “offer it up” in a practical sense. It’s just one of those Catholic sound bites that I’ve been repeating to myself and my children over the years.
When I came across this video from SpiritualDirection.com, I was immediately intrigued. For some time I’ve wanted to move beyond just saying the phrase, to praying the phrase and living it out. Fr. John Bartunek gives a wonderful visual description of what it looks like to “offer it up” in this 4-minute video.
“When we’re suffering we look to Christ and we simply, with an act of faith, with a prayer, we unite our sufferings to Christ. And, thereby, we become kind of co-Redeemers with Christ. Our suffering can make up for the sins of the world when we do that.”
What a gift that God bestows on us with the ability to suffer along with Christ in this way. I know as we begin to embrace this teaching, we will grow in holiness. In many ways, it helps make suffering bearable when we keep this sense of purpose and mission.
The Saints knew the secret of offering up their suffering to Christ. So many of them were able to be joyful in the face of extreme trials and others were able to offer up smaller sacrifices in their day to day living.
This is something we can do too! When we begin to make these small acts of sacrifice, it will prepare our hearts and minds for the times when greater sorrow comes to us. Below we have a fun list of 15 things you can start to offer up.
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