In reading Mother Teresa Come Be My Light The Private Writings of the "Saint Of Calcutta" by Brian Kolodlejchuk, M.C. Doubleday 2007 I could only wonder about suffering and how to determine when one is suffering for Christ in this form of redemptive suffering or when is suffering justifiable due to character flaws.
Mother Teresa it turns out suffered from what many of us would simply call depression since around 1947 to the near the end of her life in 2003. What is redemptive suffering and how do we know when we are apart of Christ's suffering? What is the difference between Catholics and Protestants on this matter? As we as Catholics become a part of the body of Christ must we share in his suffering of humanity as found in 1 Colossians 1:24.
Fr. Riccardo explains redemptive suffering perfectly in this 2008 speech. I have placed the link above and below. The continuation of suffering and how it serves the purpose of God and all those serving God.
After listening to this and several writings of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI I think it bares mentioning that not only is Catholicism a mystery religion which says a lot in itself concerning understanding the faith but also the faith, the religion is not easy to understand particularly on face value as a matter of course. It is important to give Christianity its due respect as we would any study or science or any body of knowledge.
In this speech he brings to light the difference between the Protestant view that any man can pick up the Bible and because it is written in his vernacular will immediately absorb it with total comprehension and go on to do God's will. Ironically the Church was doing the people justice by being the intermediaries between laymen and the Bible. That is to say that certainly many more will injure themselves through their private interpretation of passages in the Bible than those the guided through Magisterial interpretation. Few people pick up a legal texts and start reading hoping to prepare themselves for trial, we misunderstand the type of text we are dealing with when we think that the Bible is just a collection of literary passages which can be read easily.
Fr. Riccardo also express the difference between Catholic teaching of the Bible and the Protestant "prosperity gospel". In few other areas of the faith is the distinction made between apostolic succession and faith alone via the Bible study than around this understanding of redemptive suffering. In fact Colossians 1:24 if I am not mistaken has no Biblical explanation. The Bible does not explain it self pretty much anywhere nor would that actually make sense.
Fr. Riccardo explains that Christ did not die for us and from here on in we are 'saved'. Where we are on the front steps of paradise and serve God merely out of gratitude. Instead he explains we share in the suffering of Christ as as Christians and through this we increase in our faith as we pray for others.
Sonitus Sanctus: Free Catholic MP3 Links: Redemptive Suffering - Fr. Riccardo