In 2 Thessalonians St. Paul says, “We ourselves boast of you… for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring. I have been asked to speak on perhaps the most difficult question asked by human beings, a question believers ask God — why suffering? We recognize that our loving Father has some good reason for disciplining us, even when we cannot see what it is. My conversion happened about 3 years ago and it has been profound, and I believe it is still ongoing. In that I think we develop a fear of suffering that is sometimes out of proportion. Blessing to everyone for a wonderful Thanksgiving! Suffering is giving Glory To God and to His Kingdom, also it helps so many souls and for others who can not suffer. Man, Bryan, I didn’t know about your children. Let Go, Let God. I found some of these ideas fell flat in the room of a suffering person and my peers who relied on them seemed less able to listen to a person’s suffering, rather than moreso. Huh. In suffering voluntarily and innocently, Christ gives the answer to the question about suffering and its meaning. Mail (will not be published) (required), Notify me of followup comments via e-mail, “The Cross of Christ transforms human suffering from something passive, into something active.” — Fr. Job’s suffering, the suffering of a just man who bears it patiently and continues to seek mercy and forgiveness, acquires its fullest meaning in the New Testament. We can find so much suffering. Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, “the tinder for sin” (fomes peccati); since concupiscence “is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ.” Indeed, “an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”41. put CTC on your RSS feed), we’ll have some better posts and articles in the future that address these specific topics. When things go well with good people here, and ill with bad people, a great uncertainty arises whether good people receive good so that they might be stimulated to grow into something [even] better or whether by a just and secret judgment they see the rewards of their deeds here so that they may be void of the rewards of the life to come. . Your articulation of what it feels like to love and grieve deeply, along with suffering confusion and doubt, helps me not feel isolated in my own interior sufferings. We can participate with Christ in redeeming the world. If you have a tiny speck of faith….YOU have faith. As for any negative tone I may have had, please forgive me. eternal separation from God. Because we are joined to Christ, our suffering is joined with His, and participates in the Redemption He accomplished. We all want to please God, but let it come from your heart and let it make you happy. The more sin abounds, the more suffering abounds. Suffering and death, and all the evils we experience in this life, have their origin in human sin against God our Father. Moreover as our Savior does not rule the Church directly in a visible manner, He wills to be helped by the members of His Body in carrying out the work of redemption. For all his followers refuse to enter the basilicas of Apostles and martyrs, so that, forsooth, they may worship the dead Eunomius, whose books they consider are of more authority than the Gospels; and they believe that the light of truth was in him, just as other heretics maintain that the Paraclete came into Montanus, and say that Manichaeus himself was the Paraclete. Through my Cross. Every illness can make us glimpse death. Notice the contrast with those who think that suffering is pointless. The cross of Christ has become a source from which flow rivers of living water” (SD 18). May God bless your seminary studies. It is the immediate [unmediated] knowledge of God, the intuitive face-to-face vision of the divine essence.17 To see God, who is all-perfect, and from whom all good things come, entails that the deepest longing of our heart (i.e. The hypostatic union was not lost. As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them-so far as eternal happiness is concerned – it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. As with most theological questions, we need to go back to the beginning.6 The Apostle Paul says that death came into the world through sin.7 So, according to the Church, what was man’s original condition? In suffering love and in loving, suffer!-Blessed Maria Lopez of Jesus. God was testing Adam’s love by allowing the serpent to enter the garden. I am looking forward to the articles to come. India. So don’t relax, don’t worry. Jesus brings suffering into what we can call “a new dimension,” the dimension of love, salvific love. It will be an excellent complement to Salvifici Doloris, which I’m already familiar with. And then he dares to expectorate his filth upon the subject and to say: “Is it the case that the souls of the martyrs love their ashes, and hover round them, and are always present, lest haply if any one come to pray and they were absent, they could not hear?” Oh, monster, who ought to be banished to the ends of the earth! He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit; and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follow in the blood-stained footprints of his Saviour. I would have preferred if the article focused on what a Catholic finds beautiful about Catholicism, not what a Catholic thinks atheism gets wrong. Amen! For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh …. But in the light of the gospel we see that our suffering is a gift, a gift of the same sort as this present life, but even greater. The need for redemptive suffering in Sainthood; penance, obedience, self mortification, and sacrifice. If a child is born without a frontal lobe, then who is being tested? I am always curious and open to learning about other belief systems and the ways in which people draw strength and purpose from them. For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing. For the materialist atheists, nature is ultimately impersonal, indifferent and apathetic; suffering just is. Blessings to the Cross family. It is still a good world — that is how we are able to recognize the resulting disharmony, against the background of the goodness and natural order of creation — but there is now disharmony in our world, a disharmony that God did not put here. It follows from atheism that suffering, tragedy, and loss are ultimately meaningless and pointless, and hence to be avoided at all costs unless some outweighing good can be anticipated.4 In the midst of suffering, there is the additional despair of believing that there is no higher meaning or purpose for this suffering, nothing redemptive about it. We have to be careful to understand rightly what it means for Jesus to “assume” our sins. But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” It is in Christ’s Resurrection and exaltation that the Father has shown forth “the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe.” (CCC, 272) [, For Aristotle’s distinction between ‘friendship of utility’ and ‘true friendship,’ see, Aquinas writes: “If in this life human beings are rewarded by God for good deeds and punished for bad, as Eliphaz was endeavoring to establish, it apparently follows that the ultimate goal for human beings is in this life. . I waver between doubt and faith and do not know how to rest, though it’s the thing I want most!….and I have been a Christian for 28 yrs. All of them suffered, but all of them were embraced by God with compassion and love, which is at the heart of our faith. I will take you up on many of them, especially the “old school” stuff like Interior Castle because that’s my favorite stuff. Everything would be ok as long as I reminded myself of “the gospel”, but I worried also if this “reminder” would suffice when it came time to give an account of myself in the end. But, as I have had life experience and exposure to our brothers and sister in Buddhism and some other venues, I was able to excel to the work of a chaplain, hopefully mirroring the mind and compassion of Christ, until the last unit, which was quite painful after a time. So very beautiful, Beth! I urge you to enroll in a chaplaincy program for one semester and perhaps your views on suffering may evolve. Hi Hugo (#4), Whoops! And likewise, when speaking of redemptive suffering, I’m also speaking of a redemption that transcends death, not one that is lost to the person at death. So, here let us consider some of the reasons God allows us to suffer. He did not become sinful. From the atheist perspective, without the supernatural, it would be the job of each person to seek meaning from experience (or not). As a matter of fact, many atheists understand very well the impossibility of proving a universal negative—Russell’s celestial teapot argument. (Hebrews 12:5-11). Christ crucified is thus “the power of God and the wisdom of God. As Roman Catholics, we at CTC believe what the Church teaches about suffering, including that suffering is a profound entering into the suffering of Christ (Col 1) which in some mysterious way contributes to the salvation of the one suffering and the world itself. In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Jesus, as a learned teacher of the scriptures was able to quote from scripture. Suffering is deeply vexing and leaves us deeply wounded, a wound that can only be healed and redeemed by our suffering, dying and risen Lord. The answer is the cross of Jesus. Thou hast executed true judgments in all that thou hast brought upon us… for in truth and justice thou hast brought all this upon us because of our sins.” (Daniel 3:4-5) [, Ultimately there are three options. Please feel free to comment or ask questions on any of our posts. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.8 The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman, and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called “original justice.”9. It’s not about people or things….it’s all about God. My main adversaries in my peer group were Pentecostals, but that you throw these judgemental terms around is just beyond me. There does not need to be any negative evidence to disprove God’s existence for atheism; the lack of positive evidence for God’s existence is a sufficient basis for atheism. I read this and wept….I wish I could always weep by never forgetting all I just read. The love of the cross is victorious. Why does God require a sacrifice? It wasn’t cowardice in the face of death. I will say that as a Catholic, the Church’s reflections on suffering through the ages in her saints and her teaching, provides a foundation in which one can enter into suffering not merely as a test, or even as punishment, but rather into the very depths of the mystery of Christ. Jesus brings suffering into what we can call “a new dimension,” the dimension of love, salvific love. Jesus is less concerned about the deaths, and far more concerned about preparing for death. When we think about our part in completing what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings, we can think it is very small, even miniscule compared to His. Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him. What does the Catholic Church say about the meaning of suffering? Nehillism deals with meaninglessness. Relax, don’t worry about about your children’s faith or their salvation. The question of the meaning of suffering, in many ways an impenetrable question, finds an answer, above all, in the Passion of Jesus. God did not come up with a plan B when Adam and Eve committed original sin. I hope this helps, Bryan. The gospel shows us that suffering is an opportunity given to us to participate in our future blessedness by offering our present sufferings, in union with Christ’s sufferings, to God in self-giving sacrifice. Another person responded to our thanksgiving by objecting that if God existed, He would have prevented the plane crash.3. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic … I understand what you are going through and how you are feeling. Nor did the Son in His human nature cease to see the Father (i.e. Even try reading “God is Read” stories of Christians in China by Liao Yiwu. Please keep in touch and may God Bless you and give you great peace. And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone. How do we deal with it and find meaning in it and even do good through it? Not so much personally offended, just pointing out a style difference about how we think and speak of others. You cannot force it upon them. (We do not know that, with the same certainty, about any other material object, including our own bodies, because “that I [insert your own name] will persevere in faith until death” is not part of the deposit of faith. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? When I visit the sick and suffering, I always ask for their prayers, not just for myself, but for the Church. He accomplished our salvation from sin and death by His own suffering on the cross. I have been asked to speak on perhaps the most difficult question asked by human beings, a question believers ask God — why suffering? One substance, i.e the need for redemptive suffering in relation to atheism God wants us to as. 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