Why do my sacrifices matter to God?

Something I have been pondering in my heart lately–and finally received an answer from the Holy Spirit about!–is: why do my sacrifices matter to God? As Catholics, we’re often told to “offer it up” with regard to our sufferings or even our good works for the day.  When I pray my morning offering prayer each morning, I tell Jesus “I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day”.  As this is a prayer given to us by the Church, I have faith it is something that Jesus wants us to do.

But why?

I have been struggling to understand why God would even want my sufferings and sacrifices. Work well done is easier to understand because I can often see the good fruits it produces, but sufferings and sacrifices? I feel like what I have to offer is so meager, so ugly and useless.  Why would God want any of this, what good could it possibly do?

Like right now, I’m giving up my morning snack (which is a big deal to a perpetually hungry breastfeeding mom!) as a sacrifice for the souls in purgatory. But why would God want such a small, seemingly insignificant sacrifice?

The Holy Spirit spoke an answer to this question in my heart yesterday; it came to me in the form of my 3 y/o daughter’s artwork.  She had painted a messy picture, a colorful series of squiggle and lines, and I thought to myself “we need to frame this!  This is worth more to me than any masterpiece painted by a famous artist!”

And it clicked.  To God, my little sacrifices are like my daughter’s artwork to me.  She’s painted the best picture she could, and she made it out of love for me.  Her small effort means the world to me, because in it she shows me how much she loves me.  I am touched by her thoughtfulness.

I think God feels the same way about us when we offer up what little we can with all the love we have in our hearts.

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