Skip to main content

Redemptive Suffering and Tenderness

“Sing out, heavens, and rejoice, earth, break forth into song, you mountains, for the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” ~Isaiah 49:13-15

Suffering and tenderness—words that seem to beat against each other in a dichotomy of emotions. In reality, the person of Jesus Christ breaks down the barriers that our feeble minds tend to put up in opposition to seemingly contradictory phrases. Isn’t it Christ who said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25)?

 In a world in which the concept of suffering is often viewed in terms of punishment, we tend to put limits on the mercy of God. In so doing, we fail to see God as Comforter and Mother and instead project our affliction back unto God. We forget that our God is a God of tender, loving mercy. So often in my own life I have dwelt on physical & spiritual pain, deep wounds, the anguishes of bitterness & resentments, and memories that hurt. In holding onto these things, we close ourselves off to the embrace of the Father. We fail to see the God who would suffer and die for us and, unfortunately, we give into forsakenness. And because we give into this forsakenness, we forget that we are loved & loveable and, in turn, worthy of the tender embrace of God.

Recently, I yielded to these temptations. Despair is at the bottom of a deep dark ocean, but I discovered that God’s mercy is waiting in those depths. At the height my desolation, I went to a votive Mass to the Sacred Heart, in which the priest gave a homily on the tenderness of the heart of the Father. I realized that I had dwelt so much on the wounds that I had closed myself off to the tender mercy of God.

Since I have arrived in my apostolate, this same priest—a very holy and devote soul— has offered prayers for me daily, by name. He became a great support for me in my trials and offered moments of clarity and understanding.  In a form only known to him, I shared with him my afflictions. A few days after the above homily, this Father Logan was rushed to the hospital with various complications. With my Sisters, we visited him in the hospital and prayed the chaplet of Divine Mercy with him. During the chaplet, Father Logan looked at me with such intense tenderness. I felt like I was being gazed upon by the suffering Christ on the Cross. His eyes said, “This is for you. If I, who am His priest, can suffer to show you what mercy is, how much more has Jesus done so for you?” Father Logan died the next day.

My desperate plea was not only heard, the message of the Passion—tender love expressed as mercy—unfolded in my very presence through the instrument of Fr. Logan. His redemptive suffering showed me the tenderness of a God who does not forsake, but shows mercy to his afflicted by taking on suffering and redeeming it.

- Sister M. Clementia, FSGM


Anonymous said…
Hello Sister Mary Clara,

My name is Kima Booker. My daughter Lillian had her 7th birthday today and for her birthday gift she chose to get a Vocatiion doll. I explained to her that the doll was actually an imagine of a real person. She was so excited so we started to google you to see if there was any more information about you out there. I'm not sure if your able to have contact with others out here but if you can she would really like to correspond with you every once in awhile.

God Bless,

Kima Booker
Sister M. Clementia, FSGM said…
Hello, Kima. Thank you for your inquiry on behalf of your daughter Lillian. It is beautiful to hear that she asked for a vocation doll for her birthday! While Sister Mary Clara is a fictitious name, the doll's habit is based off of our habit.

It would be a joy and honor to be a pen-pal to Lillian. She can pick any one of our convents (listed on: I am located at our convent in Rock Island, IL (if she so chooses to write me). May God bless you and your family and please be assured of my prayers as you foster vocations towards our young ones.

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to our Family, Postulants!!!

Today, on the Feast of the Birth of Mary, our new postulants entered the postulancy of our American Province of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George! We thank God for the gift of these vocations. Pictured above - on their very first full day in the convent - are (from left) Ashley Vola, Samantha Goodson, Miranda Edgar, Jennifer Clark and Erin Leis. Welcome, Postulants! We Sisters are grateful that you have accepted Christ's invitation to belong totally to Him in our Franciscan community, and we support you wholeheartedly with our prayers and help! If you would like to send a word of welcome and encouragement to these new postulants, we will pass the greetings along to them. Just leave them as a "comment"!

Looking Back with Gratitude

“Christ is calling you; the Church needs you; the Pope believes in you and he expects great things of you!” My life would never be the same as the words of John Paul II coursed through my mind and beat with fervor in my heart. Me? Could he possibly mean me? Like many others, I felt Pope John Paul II was speaking directly to me as I sat behind him in the nose-bleed section of the stadium in Saint Louis. Throughout my high school years after this encounter, the idea of having a possible vocation to the religious life shocked and bewildered me, but at the same time brought me such peace. As each year came and went, my relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church grew with greater depth, understanding, and love. Through daily mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, Scripture and God’s divine intervention through his priests and religious, I soon realized that, yes, the Pope did mean me. Christ was calling me and how could I say no? After one year of college, I soon came to the realizatio

Celebrating our August Feastdays

We are pleased to announce the  Reception into the Novitiate of Clare Kennedy - Sr. M. Veronica Gabrielle Burnham - Sr. Bethany Marie Sidney Ramaekers - Sr. M. Magnificat and the First Profession of Vows of Sr. M. Rose Thomas Weighner Sr. M. Cecilia Abbadessa Sr. Mary James Becker Sr. Peter Marie Tran The celebration of Holy Mass with the Rite of First Profession and Reception into the Novitiate  will take place on  Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm. We are pleased to announce the  Final Profession of Vows of  Sr. M. Lucy Gantt Sr. Karol Marie Baumgarten Sr. Teresa Maria Leis Sr. Mary Francis Goodson Sr. M. Caterina Vola Sr. M. Gemma Kissel The celebration of Holy Mass with the Rite of Final Profession will take place on  Monday, August 3, 2020 at 10:00 am. Due to restrictions in place, we are unable to invite you to attend the ceremonies, however you are welcome to join us in prayer and participation via Livestream.