Sunday, February 27, 2005

On the suffering of the Holy Father

  • Suffering in Christ - responding to a Protestant (Calvinist) blogger upset with the Catholic "gospel of suffering and defeat", Fr. Jim Tucker (Dappled Things) gives a remarkable presentation on this topic.

  • Musing from National Review's "The Corner", Michael Novak on "the most important work of the Pope's life":

    A Pope is not actually like the Commandant of the Marine Corps, there is really nothing he has to do except be. The church normally runs itself, its departments hum on. Only a few decisions await him, really. The church could go months without appointing new replacements for bishops. What a Pope does is be another Christ. What does Christ have to do, except be? And the comparative advantage of Christianity is that it roots itself in suffering, the suffering of age that each of us will undergo, of cancers and disabilitities and mental illness in the family, the inescapables of every life. Secular humanism ignores these. Professor Rawls thinks Christian emphasis on suffering is life-denying. Not so. I think that's why so many people are touched by JPII. They know all about suffering, but nobody ever says how ennobling and transformative it can be. That it's quite all right to be ill and suffering. That it's a great and valuable gift. That it means a lot. That it's at the heart of things. In a way, the Pope is teaching more powerfully about Christianity and its comparative advantage than he ever has. The most important work of his life.

    (Via Catholics for Bush).

  • And from the Holy Father himself:Salvifici Doloris: "On the Christian meaning of human suffering." Given at Rome, at Saint Peter's, on the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February 1984, in the sixth year of his Pontificate.

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