The new What Every Catholic Should Know series is intended for the average faithful Catholic who wants to know more about Catholic faith and culture. The authors in this series take a panoramic approach to the topic of each book aimed at a non-specialist but enthusiastic readership. Forthcoming titles planned for this series include: literature, salvation, mercy, history, art, music and philosophy.

Just as Job was tried, all of us are tested by suffering. It comes to us in many different forms: grief about the past, pain in the present, and sadness about what might have been. The personal dimension of suffering means that it marks our experience and, in some ways, makes us who we are.

Coping with suffering as Christians includes certain spiritual practices that lead us to surrender our lives more fully to the Lord. By offering our suffering as a spiritual sacrifice, joined intentionally to the suffering of Christ through prayer, we engage with the most profound Christian teaching about suffering: that it is redemptive. Suffering can transform us to be like God.


“We spend so much time and money trying to escape personal suffering. We turn our heads to avoid noticing the suffering of others. Many of us think that if we do everything ‘right’ God will keep us from suffering and that God is ‘unjust’ if suffering crosses our path. This book by Dr. Mark Giszczak is a very helpful companion as we struggle to understand and respond to the mystery of suffering which none of us can escape. The book will help you live a more joyful and fruitful life.”
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia

“One of the deepest mysteries of the faith is why it is that we must continue to suffer after Christ’s victory on the Cross. Didn’t Christ deal the devil a ‘knock-out blow’ at that moment in history? I sometimes think it is because we could have no real fellowship with Christ in eternity if we had not shared, at least a little, in the pain of that Cross. This work is a very pastorally sensitive guide to an authentically Catholic understanding of this mystery. It will be a source of consolation to many.”
–Tracey Rowland, St. John Paul II Chair of Theology, University of Notre Dame (Australia)

“This is a book that will help Christians get through times of trouble. Drawing upon Scripture and Tradition and his own uncommon good sense, Giszczak gets to the heart of what painful suffering involves, how our struggles with it have meaning (even when we fail to handle it well!), how to attain redemptive suffering in union with Christ, and how to face such things as death. A richly rewarding book that combines humble, straightforward honesty with a transformative and consoling practical vision!”
–Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

“A perfect book for those wrestling with the problem of why God allows good people to suffer. Giszczak tackles the tough questions with compassion, clarity, wit, and deep Catholic faith.”
–Mary Healy, Professor of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

“All of us suffer, but not many of us suffer well. That is why we all need to read and apply the wisdom from this theologically sound and compassionate book, by Mark Giszczak. I highly recommend this book to all who are wanting to find purpose and fulfillment in the inevitable trials we all face.”
–Bob Schuchts, Author of Real Suffering and Founder of the John Paul II Healing Center.

“There is much talk these days about apostolic times; how we are going through a major shift of reality from an era of Christendom to one more of apostolic mission. Those kinds of times are uniquely marked with suffering and persecution. What Dr. Giszczak has given us in Suffering is a detailed theology, helping us understand not only how to better understand suffering in our lives but to allow ourselves to realize it’s transforming power. How timely this work is!”
–Jim Beckman, Executive Director, ImpactCenter

About the Author

Mark Giszczak (Ph.D., Catholic University of America) is Professor of Sacred Scripture at the Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology. His books include Wisdom of Solomon in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, Light on the Dark Passages of Scripture, and Bible Translation and the Making of the ESV Catholic Edition. He writes regularly on his blog,



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Suffering: What Every Catholic Should Know

  • Suffering can transform us to be like God.
  • Coping with suffering as Christians includes certain spiritual practices that lead us to surrender our lives more fully to the Lord.
  • 200 pages.
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