April 28, 2008

Suffering and Hope (#47)

It's natural to want to avoid pain, but there's a good reason why we say, "No pain, no gain." In the same way that we don't ban bicycles because children might get hurt, we don't shelter ourselves from love and friendship just because they involve the risk of hurt and disappointment. Pope Benedict XVI said:

We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it. It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it, and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love. (Spe Salvi)

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