I recently read Fr. Richard Richard Rohr’s Book: Hope Against Darkness. (The Transforming Vision of St. Francis in an Age of Anxiety) Some of you might find it to be a particularly relevant given the upheaval in our world at the present time. It is also a good Lenten book, in my opinion.
Fr. Richard (a Franciscan priest) is founder and animator of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the author of numerous books, including Jesus’ Plan for a New World, The Sermon on the Mount with John Feister (St. Anthony Messenger Press). Besides his Center in New Mexico, he gives retreats and lectures internationally. He also emails free of charge a daily Meditation to which I subscribe. I thought today’s particularly moving and insightful so I am including it here. You might like to subscribe yourself – there is a link below.
Question of the day:
What is it to live with suffering?
Suffering is the necessary feeling of evil. If we don’t feel evil we stand antiseptically apart from it, numb. We can’t understand evil by thinking about it. The sin of much of our world is that we stand apart from pain; we buy our way out of the pain of being human.
Jesus did not numb himself or withhold from pain. Suffering is the necessary pain so that we know evil, so that we can name evil and confront it. Otherwise we somehow dance through this world and never really feel what is happening.
Brothers and sisters, the irony is not that God should feel so fiercely; it’s that his creatures feel so feebly. If there is nothing in your life to cry about, if there is nothing in your life to complain about, if there is nothing in your life to yell about, you must be out of touch. We must all feel and know the pain of humanity. The free space that God leads us into is to feel the full spectrum, from great exaltation and joy, to the pain of mourning and dying and suffering. It’s called the Paschal Mystery.
The totally free person is one who can feel all of it and not be afraid of any of it.
from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 209, day 218
(Source: Days of Renewal)
Prayer and suffering are the two
primary paths of transformation
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