Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"Offer It Up." What the Heck Does That Mean?

Jennifer asks what the phrase, "offer it up" means (mentioned in this post). I can understand her question entirely because it certainly mystified me when I first heard it my mother-in-law say it many years ago. She was counseling one of our daughters to "offer up" her annoyance at something. I think that her explanation is the simplest, and therefore possibly the best, that I have ever heard.

It means to offer your suffering to God as a sacrifice.

You can do this with a specific intention. This can be done with small things annoyances (as I did with that woman behind me in line last night in the long, long pharmacy line who was talking so loudly on her cell phone that I couldn't hear the pharmacist when I finally had my turn with him) as well as large (my last root canal!). I often am reminded on a fast day that the hunger I am feeling is perhaps the same hunger that my parents' souls feel without any belief in God, so I will offer my hunger to God as a sacrifice for their conversion. You also can offer it up without any intention at all and give it to God to use as He will. Not only does this put our suffering to good use but, from my own point of view, it certainly gives one a better perspective on putting up with that particular suffering or annoyance.

As the excerpt in the previous post mentions, the point of this is not to be a "victim" but to make a joyful offering.

This post, Holy Mass and Personal Self Sacrifice, also sheds some light on the idea of offering suffering to God.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this.
    Now I too know what it means
    and will put it to good use.

    Julie Lackey