theology of suffering catholic

Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars; .divine life.” By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man’s life were confirmed. Professor Feingold explains that Christ was abandoned in two ways: “in the exterior man and the interior man.” But neither of them is the separation from God that is experienced by those in hell. We do not like suffering, but ultimately, suffering is neither evil or good, because ultimately there is no good or evil; there is just matter and energy and the fundamental laws of physics. We have to be careful to understand rightly what it means for Jesus to “assume” our sins. The Second Person did not lose His union with His human nature. If I can’t find a way to make sense of suffering in the world – why it exists and how I am supposed to deal with it and what purpose it serves (I am using “make sense” loosely – meaning accomodate as opposed to understanding in a rational sense) then my whole concept of God and Creation requires shuffling. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. So let it all go…’s ok. As for any negative tone I may have had, please forgive me. A Christian Understanding of Pain and Suffering Cardinal Javier Lozano God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place. (Romans 5:3-5)34. When the Church is viewed in terms of conflict – right versus left, progressive versus... Hi Hugo (#4), Whoops! I understand what you are going through and how you are feeling. But we should not assume that all instances of suffering are punishment for specific sins. Depressed & Catholic addresses this sort of suffering and may be helpful to you. Are you not afraid of being in such company, and of speaking against us the same things which he utters against the Church? “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”44, “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”45, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. They wait patiently to be reunited to their bodies, at the resurrection. That helped. Thanks to everyone who responded to my original post about my suffering with mental illness. Referring to Adam and Eve prior to original sin, you stated “As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.” What i need help with is, i have heard other interpretations of Genesis 3 (namely by Scott Hahn). old and we haven’t spoken in 2 years. There is no greater evil than that one, nothing worse to suffer than eternal separation from God. Thank you very much for your appreciation. He knows your heart. By looking to Christ’s example, who suffered for us to demonstrate to us both the magnitude of our sin and the greater magnitude of His infinite love for us. In Salvifici Doloris, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Suffering must serve for conversion, that is, for the rebuilding of goodness in the subject, who can recognize the divine mercy in this call to repentance.28. I didn’t want to be thrown in with the chaff heap or numbered among the goats. It is very helpful in ministry!!! I hope that clarifies what I was and wasn’t saying. How do we participate in Christ’s Sufferings? Truly a faith-inspiring reflection. What Paul said of the human organism is to be applied likewise to the Mystical Body: “The head cannot say to the feet: I have no need of you.” It is manifestly clear that the faithful need the help of the Divine Redeemer, for He has said: “Without me you can do nothing,” and according to the teaching of the Apostle every advance of this Mystical Body towards its perfection derives from Christ the Head. The Christian religion and the theology associated with it encompass three major branches: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. No martyr ever bore the sins of the whole world. Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign. Just how it seems to me. God, our Father, is like a loving parent who agrees to subject his child to a regimen of chemotherapy to cure a cancer, though the child does not see the need for the chemotherapy, because the child does not see the cancer or its danger.18 The comment by the person who said of the plane crash, “God would have kept them from crashing” is like the child who says to his parent, “If you loved me you wouldn’t be putting me through this chemotherapy.” The parent is thinking, “If only you could see the danger of this cancer, you would understand that I am subjecting you to this painful treatment only because I love you, and want you to live.” And this too, is the heart of our heavenly Father, when He allows us to endure the sufferings of this life. I also carry the burden of worrying about my children’s faith and final salvation too. So likewise when any man through his just will has stripped himself of what he ought to have, he deserves that something further be granted to him as the reward of his just will. Howard Kainz. When the Christian suffers, their external suffering reveals the invisible truth behind that suffering:  they place the original communion we were all called to have with God over everything in this world. Just opening a door for someone, a smile, a hello to others is more important than you will ever know. Thank you for ministering to us in this way. This scale of Jesus’ deity, knowledge and acceptance of His sacrifice is different in relationship to how the Gospel writer sees His deity. I have addressed that question (whether Adam and Eve would have suffered and died had they not sinned) briefly in comment #5 of the “Lawrence Feingold on Original Justice and Original Sin” thread. There is always good in suffering. He did not become sinful. He is the author or editor of several books, including God and the Mystery of Human Suffering (Paulist, 2011). The “mastery” over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: The four preternatural gifts had by our first parents were: infused knowledge, immortality, impassibility, and integrity (human appetites being completely submitted to the human intellect. I think many of the comments above are applicable to those who are able to choose and embrace a spiritual path that suffering may provide. Another person responded to our thanksgiving by objecting that if God existed, He would have prevented the plane crash.3. Rereading it tonight, i realized there is something that i do not fully understand and i was hoping you could graciously take some time to help me through it. a relation of being — this body does not merely belong to that saint, as he might have possessed a book or a cloak; this body is that saint, not the entirety of the saint, of course, but nonetheless his bodily component). (Philippians 2:6-11)  Our own vocations tell a similar tale. It was in reading St. Teresa’s Interior Castle that the suffering she had been first-hand witness to gained meaning (really grotesque suffering without the possibility of relief). It applies both with the tragedy the Philippines is experiencing and individual tragedy that some of my friends and family are experiencing. Why did the early Christians rejoicing in their suffering? To be so critical and judgemental of our brothers and sisters in other denominations not only is hurtful to them, it reveals that we are still not focusing on the mote in our own eyes. Why does it even use up the ground?’ “And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’31. Modern society (and indeed most of contemporary Christianity) goes to great lengths to try to get us to ignore this message. I still think about him and about those sermons. “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. Why now? Catholicism and Suffering. Secondly, the comments about the fallability of others’ spirituality are less than charitable. His plan for us was to share in his glory in heaven from the very beginning. We are not gnostics, who believe that we are all spirits trapped in bodies. Relax, don’t worry about about your children’s faith or their salvation. I’m speaking of the conceptual relation between atheism and suffering. I am happy to be able to soon embrace a path to learn and grow. I believe atheism to be a false and deeply harmful philosophy, but I love and admire and respect atheists as persons, and hope through dialogue to overcome divisions and peacefully work through disagreements. For my power is at its best in weakness. And in our modern American world we do a pretty good job of pretending that suffering is the exception rather than the rule. Eternal life does not mean mere perpetual existence; that in itself would be entirely unsatisfying. Please know that I hear and feel the pain in your words, my brother. He received the cup of suffering from His Father, in humble obedience, and in doing so perfectly demonstrated His love for the Father: And He also says, “Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”61, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt”, … “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done”62. Allen, P.S. In other words, the objection presupposes that a Being infinitely greater than ourselves either does not exist or has not revealed His goodness and love to us, and in that respect the objection assumes precisely what it is trying to show. The third option: Christ, being God, stayed away on purpose, because He had a higher purpose, did not enter her mind. I have spent many a day in the study of the meaning of suffering. There is no creed beyond that is shared among atheists, but the article attributes a fundamental belief about suffering to atheism. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, and at nine years old, I lost my mother to suicide. I was a low-church Pentecostal my entire life. O Mother Mary O Brother Jesus, let me never forget to hope when there is no found reason to hope. Faced with such vulnerability, mans first instinct is to do what Adam did:  run and hide. Please feel free to comment or ask questions on any of our posts. Regarding an earlier question asking the meaning of Christ’s words, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” – Jesus was quoting Psalm 22 – describing himself & praising God in the midst of His suffering. Is this to pay respect, to offer penance, or to just to be close to those Giants who have gone before us? Later, after we converted, we gave our oldest daughter to Saint Rose of Lima. Also, the faith’s sense of Christ’s humanity shifts over generations and cultures. I understand that it may be hard to see the full depth of the atheist experience through a Catholic lens, but I would have liked to see more effort to do so. When the serpent said “you will not die,” he was referring to Adam’s physical life. In my experience, as a former Protestant, some forms of Protestant Christianity have more helpful things to say about suffering than other forms. seperated in some sense) as God “made him to be” sin for us? Commenting on this Aquinas says, “All the saints who have pleased God have gone through many tribulations by which they were made the sons of God.”27 As sons of God, through our union with Christ the Son, we expect to be disciplined by God our Father. In order for those of us who really do suffer, at times beyond what we can bear, when surviving a day seems miraculous. Jesus is teaching the people that in response to the deaths of the victims of Pilate and the falling tower in Siloam, the proper response is not to consider such persons to be more guilty than those who survived, but rather to consider that it was only by God’s mercy that we were not among them, so that we may repent, and pursue righteousness, before our approaching death. All praise and glory, honor, and love be to Jesus Christ through Mary Our Holy Mother!!! … Every man has his own share in the Redemption. [, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned …” (Romans 5:12) [, “for in the day you eat from it, you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17) [. Pope John Paul II writes: For, whoever suffers in union with Christ— just as the Apostle Paul bears his “tribulations” in union with Christ— not only receives from Christ that strength already referred to but also “completes” by his suffering “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”.49, Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserve in their own sufferings a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world’s Redemption, and can share this treasure with others.50. Atheism says nothing at all about the meaning of suffering per se. Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. I choose to believe in a loving God. Brent, thank you for sharing this about your daughter, and about the patronage of St. Rose of Lima. Things I do or fail to do can affect my life. She suffers even now, and I am amazed at the redemptive power of that suffering both in her life and in others (despite them not being aware of it). I found it very helpful. Did we tithe? I feel a bit propped-up for whatever the future holds.Your calm sanity, and resolve not to let yourself ” go there” in your thoughts, showed me a way grief is patiently carried. from :redux on Vimeo. Watch Medical Ministry on PBS. 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. It will be an excellent complement to Salvifici Doloris, which I’m already familiar with. The relation of the saints in heaven to their bodies is also an eschatological relation. Be patient, which I have never had, but God has graced me with patience and perseverance. Why travel to see the relics of saints or their shrines? Atheism, according to the historical use of the term I am following, is a belief that there is no God. Don’t force anything that you are just doing to please God. When a Catholic goes into a Protestant church, he will often notice a cross or crosses, but usually without a corpus. If you have a tiny speck of faith….YOU have faith. Does that mean that Christ’s work was insufficient? Do you laugh at the relics of the martyrs, and in company with Eunomius, the father of this heresy, slander the Churches of Christ? My main adversaries in my peer group were Pentecostals, but that you throw these judgemental terms around is just beyond me. As Adam shrank from the prospect of suffering and death and ultimately said “No” to God, Jesus, the new Adam said “Yes” and suffered and died. For me, I believe I must have stumbled onto a great reservoir of graces for myself, my family and any others I offer up my suffering for. the article completely mis-characterizes atheism and paints it with a single, two-dimensional brush. Jesus, in His soul carried the weight of each sin every human being has committed and will commit. Is that judgmental? Collosians 1:24-29. . It offers nothing on the other important questions of life, and that’s a shame. For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke; and under the same flail the straw is beaten small, while the grain is cleansed; and as the lees are not mixed with the oil, though squeezed out of the vat by the same pressure, so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked. © Copyright 2021 Catholic Exchange. The saints in heaven can hear/see our requests to them, though not with physical ears/physical eyes (since they are not embodied, Mary excepted). By our union with Christ, our suffering gets to count, as a participation in His suffering; our suffering becomes meaningful in the realm of eternity. We all want to please God, but let it come from your heart and let it make you happy. Check out Sirach Chapter 2,1:6. God does permit people to experience physical infirmity as a means of spiritual strengthening (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), and he also chastises every son whom he receives (Hebrews 12:5-8). In all honesty, because I have suffered a lot in this life already, I have so much fear of what will happen next. The hypostatic union was not lost. God’s only son suffered with such extreme. If everyone understood a bit about suffering I believe this world would be a more understanding place. Maximilian Kolbe comes to mind as well. But the sort of meaning I am speaking about in the article is meaning in the sense of an ultimate teleology, a role in a transcendent narrative of the whole cosmos, a narrative that extends beyond our death, and in which our choices make an ultimate difference in what we and others become and enjoy, rather than a philosophy in which our choices ultimately make no difference. I really do try to read broadly about perspectives that are both similar and different to my own, and I do find the description of Catholic perspective on suffering to be interesting. Not only does all love come from God, but the Apostle John says that God is Love.1 And we know that genuine love seeks the good for the beloved.2 If you love someone, you want that person to have what is truly good for him, what truly and most perfectly makes him happy. Atheists do not see evidence for the existence of God. Only from the stance of humble trust does the possibility of its meaning come into our field of vision. That was the error of Job’s ‘comforters.’29 It was also the error of Jesus’s disciples when they saw a blind man: As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. Christ shows us the depths we must be willing to go to in that gift, even if it is the Cross. But it does not follow that whoever sees God’s essence knows all things, but only those who comprehend the essence of God [Cf. EWTN is a global, Catholic Television, Catholic Radio, and Catholic News Network that provides catholic programming and news coverage from around the world. In this philosophy, suffering is the greatest evil. That’s the sense in which He assumed them. Thanks for your clarifying comments. Our ex Catholic friend in the combox criticizes Catholics for indulging in a theology of suffering.Didn't the Master say we must 'take up our cross and What shall we make of … 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. Let Go, Let God. You cannot find an occasion of boasting even in supposing that you are the inventor of a new kind of wickedness, for your heresy long ago broke out against the Church. 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. St. James tells us that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. I’ve lost my home and my job and had a small stroke. God bless you! Wherefore, since the souls of the saints do not comprehend the Divine essence, it does not follow that they know all that can be known by the Divine essence–for which reason the lower angels are taught concerning certain matters by the higher angels, though they all see the essence of God; but each of the blessed must needs see in the Divine essence as many other things as the perfection of his happiness requires. Hence since no rectitude is lacking to the saints, they wish to know what concerns themselves, and consequently it follows that they know it in the Word. At least, though, we owe this much respect to the Lord our God, that if he does not take our afflictions away we should not consider ourselves ignored and neglected, but should hope to gain some greater good through the patient acceptance of suffering. If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. The depth of that love, the depth of that commitment, the depth of working with individuals like that, that’s the privilege.” – Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky. I recommend reviewing this: You say you are not docile to God’s way, but I think you really are. Jesus knows your worries and does not want that for you. If God the father could nail his son to the cross, what does that say about our suffering. In the Cross of Christ not only is the Redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed,. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. 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