Every long-suffering Catholic teen rolls their eyes from time to time at this maternal refrain.
“Mom, Tim took the last cookie.”
“Oh well. Offer it up!”
“Mom, it’s not my turn to take out the trash.”
“It is today. Offer it up!”
“Offer it up!”
You get it. It’s never what any of us wants to hear when we just want to have a good whine about something.
But your Mom’s not wrong. “Offering it up” is a real thing, and if we actually do it, a whole treasure trove of graces opens up for us. Christ chose suffering as the means of our redemption—and our suffering too, united to His, can be a force for good. As explained in The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions:
If we choose to “offer it up” with Jesus, our suffering, discomfort, or struggle can become redemptive for ourselves and for others.
It’s not easy, but any mildly-to-severely unpleasant thing can be offered up.
It could be a lukewarm cup of coffee when we really wanted a hot one. Could be traffic troubles. Could be that annoying person at work who always takes credit for our successes. Could be any physical suffering. Anything—even the smallest little thing!—when offered to Jesus with love becomes a powerful way to intercede for others and ourselves, to make reparation for sin, and to draw closer to Jesus, Who suffered so much for us.
Read more about the whys and hows of “offering it up” in The How-to Book of Catholic Devotions. In this easy-to-read and captivating book, Mike Aquilina and Regis Flaherty discuss all manner of Catholic things and how to practice them. Learn how to observe popular devotions, pray the Mass, make a pilgrimage, use holy water and candles, practice mental prayer, draw closer to Our Lady, and much more. A handy book for the cradle Catholic and the new convert alike! Available today at The Catholic Company!