My sprained ankle and the role of suffering

Last Sunday I tripped and sprained my ankle. Admittedly in comparison to the sufferings of saints and beati(never mind our Lord on the Cross) such as Blessed John XXIII(who died of stomach cancer) and Blessed John Paul II’s illness or St Priscilla’s martyrdom( according to the martyrology she along with husband and fellow martyr Aquila “,met their deaths at the hands of a pagan mob”- which presumably means being either beaten to death or torn limb from limb), but much like Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong’s definition of being black in the “Jim Crow” Deep South, it was a “damned inconvenience” at times although there was no shame in it.
As if ironically ,over Lent, I have been reading James Martin SJ’s " My Life With The Saints" (Loyola Press, Chicago, 2006) in which he dwells on St Ignatius of Loyola( Ignatius of course founded the Society-or Company- of Jesus), life and times. I was surprised to read that a cannonball had struck Ignatius’s leg- it never healed right and the future founder of the Jesuits was left with a lifelong limp, ending his career as a soldier( talk about a cloud with a silver lining- had Ignatius not sustained that injury- we would
never have had a Society of Jesus!), a situation rather different to my own obviously( the pain and swelling has now mercifully subsided)
I was also struck by Ignatius’s concept of indifference- that is to say, moving away from anything and everything that does NOT lead to God.

Anybody have any views on the views on this issue?


The value of suffering is a mystery of sorts. There is a certain “currency” to it, if you will, do borrow a financial term, that is legal tender in the afterlife. Christ showed the way first, demonstrating how acceptance of suffering in innocence leads to glory. I incurred a severe ankle injury a few years ago that required surgery and immobility for some time. I read Padre Pio’s letters to his spiritual director during that time. :o

Sorry to hear about your sprained ankle and I am glad it is better.

I don’t know much about St. Ignatius so I can’t comment on him, but somewhere I learned that Catholics are supposed to offer their suffering up for someone else who is suffering. I have some physical and mental illnesses, and I offer my suffering up a lot. It helps me and I hope ,it helps others.

As I told a dying woman once, “Just give your sufferings to Jesus. He’ll do something good with them, and when you get to heaven, He’ll tell you what He did.” She smiled. Her family had all just tried to console her, but had not been able to because they had no concept of the value of suffering. I remember when I had a case of food poisoning. You can’t get much more miserable than that. Once I gave my misery to the Lord, I felt so much better, even if only mentally. Knowing that the pain is not wasted, but actually doing good, makes the agony more bearable. You feel like you’re working side by side with the Lord. Good luck and God bless.

Every day when we awake the first (of many) prayers should be the simple, but sincere, “Jesus, I offer you my day” With this offering, sprained ankles, hammered thumbs, stubbing toes, ANYTHING is offered for the poor souls in Purgatory. You can read about it in any Divine Mercy booklet or Sister Faustina’s Diary. Wish I had a quick bookmark to a website for you. The elderly are a wealth of help for the suffering souls in purgatory and I now have my poor mother in law who has arthritis and other elderly pains offer her day each morning also…

Hope you heal quickly. By the way, Jesus mentions to Sister Faustina that some day when she got to Heaven she would meet the souls she saved by ber suffering (she did not have good health by the way).