Barron’s “Stephen Fry, Job, and the Cross of Jesus.”, The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S, but the earth hath he given to the children of men. One of the ways in which we will be like the angels is that we will not marry. Pope John Paul II says of this passage, “Thus to share in the sufferings of Christ is, at the same time, to suffer for the Kingdom of God. My main adversaries in my peer group were Pentecostals, but that you throw these judgemental terms around is just beyond me. First of all, i want to express my appreciation for these articles you have written. This is the “why” age. “And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins.”, Source: The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher. Those who succumb to suffering must have had inadequate faith. Thus, according to you, the sacred buildings are like the sepulchres of the Pharisees, whitened without, while within they have filthy remains, and are full of foul smells and uncleanliness. The Gospels were different in their intention and their nature. Aquinas explains in, St. Augustine wrote, “For it certainly was not just that obedience should be rendered by his servant, that is, his body, to him, who had not obeyed his own Lord.” (On Marriage and Concupiscence, I.7.) He is the author or editor of several books, including God and the Mystery of Human Suffering (Paulist, 2011). It is simply not there in Protestant theology. 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. . And I absolutely do concur that we do have a deep well of spiritual thought and theology available, unlike some newer paths. . put CTC on your RSS feed), we’ll have some better posts and articles in the future that address these specific topics. Saturday, March 24, 2012. 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. Notice the fourfold harmony: the harmony of friendship between man and God, the harmony within man himself (his various appetites and reason, even between his soul and body),10 the harmony between man and woman (or social between human persons), and the harmony between man and the rest of creation. I know I could learn a lot from you, Christopher and Brent, about suffering’s true nature as an experience and as a spiritual path. In language those familiar with the Theology of the Body might say, the life lived via the flesh reveals what we choose to have communion with. I believe that depression, panic, and dread can be especially united to Christ’s agony in the garden, the night before He was crucified. You’ve faced so much. This is a logical extension of the error of monergism. Toward A Theology Of Suffering. I don’t know how the Church interprets this text, but what then does it mean when Christ says, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”(Mat 27:46), if not that he was forsaken by the Father at one point in time (i.e. I go with my heart. Andrea Tornielli: You have met with seriously ill children on more than one occasion. Did we speak to the mountain? So what does that have to do with suffering? You say you are not docile to God’s way, but I think you really are. That is a miracle. This position fails to recognize that in our suffering we are given the great gift, through our union with Christ, of participating in Christ’s own sufferings. Responses to Suffering As this article is entitled, “A Pastoral Theology of Suffering,” I wish to suggest how Christians – specifically, Christians who hold to an inerrant view of Scripture and a compatibilist understanding ofrespond I took four units of CPE, so I am glad we have some shared perspective. The teaching of the Catholic Church is quite different from that of the atheists with regard to the origin of suffering. : ). If that saint’s body had no relation to the saint’s soul, then drawing near to his body would not in any way draw us near to the saint. I used the word “ignorant”. You’re in my prayers. Now, as a Catholic, I am thankful not only for the gift of Joshua’s life, but also for the gift of his suffering and death, which in no way was gratuitous, but was a participation in the life and death of his Savior. Saints are not omniscient or omnipresent; only God is omniscient and omnipresent. 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. I hope this helps, Bryan. God is treating you as sons. Jesus, when he ascended, gave the church power over all the power of the enemy. 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. A version of this story appeared in the Sept 4-17, 2020 print issue under the headline: Ecological theology meets theological response to suffering in Edwards' book . Remember, all atheism says is that, absent evidence of God’s existence, the atheist does not believe. It is however a statement that the life of a Christian is a life of great difficulty, but even greater reward. I think your insights into suffering are great, and I’m glad God has given you the opportunity to share with those who suffer greatly. And for this reason they see these petitions supernaturally, through the Beatific Vision. It was very insightful. I’ve known my grandmother my entire life. seperated in some sense) as God “made him to be” sin for us? I explained the nature of the literature, which is common knowledge in any theology program and germaine to Julia’s question. Atheists cannot rejoice in their sufferings, because they have no reason to do so. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. “There are days I go home with tears in my eyes because suffering is real. Pain and death would only enter if Adam disobeyed. God knows your heart, he knows your intentions. the body-soul composite. All rights reserved. Many atheists find suffering redemptive. satisfaction for an offense or an injury. Here’s a video recording of the talk: CEO August 2016 from Blue Sky Productions on Vimeo. Even in what I fear is no suffering at all, whether it be rational or not, He uses that very hopelessness and even irrational fear, perhaps the hopelessness He felt in His Willful Abandonment on the Cross, to instill that hope He began in me. As St. Thomas explains, anyone who sees the face of God sees also in God all things pertaining to himself, through God. I’m sorry if I’m taking a long time to get to a point, but I’ve wrestled with this for a long time myself. Cut it down! He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. I should have been clearer about that. Look at your intentions. [, “They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. I even wonder if I really know what grace is. God bless and keep you always close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus! My suffering I believe does not have to do with sin. 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. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, and at nine years old, I lost my mother to suicide. 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. They are complete only when united as one substance, i.e. Christ shows us the depths we must be willing to go to in that gift, even if it is the Cross. Spend enough time with Catholics, and you will hear the phrase, “Offer it up.” The phrase is typically heard as a reply to a list of personal woes. Eleonore Stump, “Wandering in Darkness: The Problem of Suffering” (Veritas Forum), Suffering, Evil, and the Desires of the Heart (Eleonore Stump). 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