Archive for the ‘Suffering’ Category

There is a void that I carry in my heart. At one time, it was a huge and painful distraction in my life. It doesn’t matter what, specifically, my void was is because you may have one too. The details may be different but our emotions are probably very similar. All of us have experienced disappointment or unfulfilled desires in some way or another. I remember noticing as I became more and more Catholic, that this tender place in me grew less and less raw. I truly believe it was because the fullness and wonder of all God had for me in His Church and in His sacraments filled my unmet longing and even made it pale in comparison. It didn’t take the place of it, but it did satisfy my soul deeply and gave me profound peace. (Please don’t think I’m saying it isn’t possible to experience the Lord’s peace outside of the Catholic Church. There were definitely times as a non-Catholic Christian when I experienced God’s peace but never to this degree of depth and healing.)

The Catholic Church has much to say on suffering. Recently I decided I wanted to understand it better so I bought a copy of Does Suffering Make Sense? by Russell Shaw.

I’m not even half way through with it yet but here are a few snippets:

“…the world…is incomplete, a less-than-perfect place where bad things happen not because of divine malevolence but because of the incompleteness of creation” pg. 29

“we tend to regard suffering, not evil, as the worst thing there is and to be more anxious to avoid the former than the latter” pg. 32

Does this guy know me?!? 😉

“In fact, not only does God bring good out of evil, he brings about a greater good than if the evil had never occurred. One might say that God is constantly remodeling creation in order to draw it through the chaos and pain of evil to a state of perfection higher than if his original plan had been left intact, uncontradicted by the evil choices of creatures and the consequences flowing from them.” pg. 34

Looking back, I can see this in my life but it’s so hard when you’re in the midst of it.

“The teaching of the beatitudes is that suffering and happiness are not incompatible; suffering can contribute to happiness. It is true that the happiness of those who suffer is manifestly, not complete: fulfillment comes only in Heaven. But the happiness of those who suffer for love of God begins here below.” pg. 56

I’m just so amazed by God’s trustworthiness. I have a friend who likes to say, “God is good. All the time, God is good.” So true, so true.


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