We live in a world that is filled with pain.

The planet is covered with people
who are overwhelmed by suffering.

Wars, monstrous acts of terrorism,
famines, economic injustice, chronic poverty,
drug addiction, diseases, and
natural disasters are killing people every day.
We are impotent when it comes
to making the pain go away.

Life is hard and messy and painful.
Hurt abounds
and hope is in short supply.

Jesus did not clean up every mess
or relieve all the pain He encountered.
Jesus simply told us to take the pain
and the mess of our lives
and place them before God.

Even then, the answers to the riddles of our lives
are not always perceivable or even obtainable.

Jesus teaches us to live with the questions,
to live with the pain.

Peace, He suggests, is found in faith.

Without solitude,
finding sanity and sanctity
is virtually impossible.

God is bigger than we are;
and we, in our weakness,
need to lean on the strong arm of God.

Cures and answers may not come to light,
but faith, hope, and love
changes who we are
and how we deal with
the messiness and pain of life.

Faith, hope, and love,
the triptych of the spiritual life,
is nurtured stillness.

During the coming season of Advent
give yourself the gift of occasional stillness.


2 Responses to “Suffering”

  1. 1 squeaky kneeler November 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Gerry, another awesome blog! You are on my list this Thanksgiving of GIFTS i am most grateful for. In 1968 at age 14 i decided to try a Capuchin minor seminary. The greeting i received at the front door that day were the words of the Poverello, PAX ET BONUM. i did 22 years with the friars, ten as priest, then took another path, married, and raised 6 children. In all of this amazing adventure over half a century, i have been learning the true meaning of St. Francis’ words. His words were probably PACE E BENE, in English PEACE and GOOD. But a follower of Francis quickly learns that his idea of GOOD is the Beatitude notion, QUITE DIFFERENT FROM GOOD as most people would like it to be. And so i came to translate the phrase as MAY YOU MAKE PEACE WITH BENNY in your life, with the fact that the Good things which you ask your Heavenly Father for may actually come to you in the direct opposite form – from the Most Loving God Who Knows just what you need the most. “Benny” may not look very good at all; in fact, he might bring you some heavy, heavy load of suffering. Those words which John F. Kennedy loved so much: “I asked for health, that I might do great things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things. I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I received poverty, that I might be wise. I asked for power, that I might win praise from men. I was given weakness, that I might feel my need for God. I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life, but I was given life, that I might enjoy all things…” Pax et Bonum, Gerry. Thank You!

    • 2 aliceny November 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      How refreshing to hear another point of view — especially from one who can witness from both sides of the Sanctuary. We need more of that!
      Bless you for sharing your insights here.

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