Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We cannot eliminate suffering

I just came across this quotation from Pope Bendict's encyclical "Spe Salvi." I confess I have not yet read the full document but this observation on suffering caught my eye:
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 (n. 37).

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