Sunday, August 08, 2010

How can suffering be redemptive?

The Gospel was first heard by people who were longing and thirsty, who were poor and oppressed in one sense or another. They knew their need and their emptiness. So we must go to the same place within ourselves to hear the Gospel. We must find the rejected and fearful parts within each of us and try to live there, if life has not yet put us there. That should allow us a deeper communion with the oppressed of the world, who are by far the majority of the human race since the beginnings of humanity.

If we wish to enter more deeply into this mystery of redemptive suffering—which also means somehow entering more deeply into the heart of God—we have to ask God to allow us to feel some of their pain and loneliness, not just to know it intellectually. It is what we feel that we finally act on. Knowing is often just that, and nothing more.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Job and the Mystery of Suffering, p. 15

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