July 20, 2010

Dumb Ox

ON THE MEANING OF SUFFERING AND SUFFERING WITH MEANING

Why suffering can be purposeful as well as painful.

The existence of suffering has turned many hearts away from God. It is a question as old as man; "Why would a loving God allow us to suffer - especially children and innocents?" To begin to answer this question we must think of evil as the lack or absence of good.

When Adam sinned his communion with God, the very source of life, was diminished. Everything in creation was thrown out of balance. The Genesis account makes one thing clear. Evil entered the heart of man, not blotting out love of God but diminishing it.

Following Adam's rejection of God's love, God didn't abandon us. Barely did man sin when God promised to send a Redeemer to defeat evil once and for all. God addresses the serpent who successfully tempted Adam and Eve. In so doing, God divulges the plan of salvation: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15)

The "woman" is Mary. This is why Catholics call Mary the new Eve. In her all things are made new. The woman's seed is of course Jesus Christ.

Jesus was the son of God and without sin. Everything He did was holy. When He healed it was holy. When He taught it was holy. All Christ did as God incarnate was holy. When Christ suffered it was holy. Even now, as members of the Body of Christ, our suffering is holy. More on this in my next post.

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