The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Thank God for Pain

Authored by Robert Kloska in Issue #10.2 of Catechetical Review

How much worse off we would all be without physical pain! As counterintuitive as it sounds, pain is your friend. Pain is a mechanism to warn you that something is wrong. Imagine a scenario where there was no physical pain. When you get sick with a virus, you don’t feel bad, so you don’t take care of yourself. The virus spreads rapidly because there is no way to know that you have it until it is too late. Death or relentless monitoring become the only two ways to know that something is physically awry. Who would want to live like that? Dramatically shortened lifespans and constant paranoia? No thanks!

Twenty years ago, when I was first diagnosed with cancer, it was pain that made me go see a doctor. Thank goodness the pain arrived in time! The doctors found the cancer and treated it before it was too late. I’ve received 20 additional years on this good earth because of this good friend, pain. If it weren’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive to write this today. I am grateful!

Because it is so familiar, physical pain is no longer very intimidating to me. Of course I don’t like it, but it’s manageable. Besides alerting me to something being amiss, it is helpful because it is purifying. It calls me to something higher. For instance, when a tech comes into my hospital room to wake me up in the middle of the night to draw blood, I am challenged to respond with kindness and docility. She appears abruptly with a bright light and sharp needle to do her job. This is rather unpleasant for me, but it’s also for my good. The least I can do is be pleasant to her regardless of how I am feeling. Subtle sighs or groans of annoyance or self-pity only serve to assault her with an air of needless negativity. What good does that do? I admit that sometimes I fail, but the pain offers me a great opportunity. It calls me to become the best version of myself.

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting [email protected]

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