Pain and Life

Pain can be vitalising; it gives intensity in the place of vagueness and emptiness. If we don’t suffer, how do we know that we live?

Sebastian Horsley
These poignant words spark us into the central problems and challenges of the Christian path of preparation for Easter, known in some traditions as ‘Lent’.  How does sufferring work in our lives?  What is pains true meaning and purpose?
Looking forward to reading your thoughts and reflections on these questions…
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5 thoughts on “Pain and Life

  1. As a chronic pain patient, pain has defined my world. At first it saddened me as I tried to reconcile myself to the loss of so many things. It drove me to seek relief, cures, treatments and shaped my days around it’s management, how much morphine is needed today to endure it. But over time, I resigned to the fact that it was always with me. It was both a kind of death, being forever imprisoned, and a freedom that I no longer desired what I couldn’t have. Only in recent years has pain become the prod that presses me to seek God, to seek the suffering in others and find a way to ease it’s ache. Now, it doesn’t define me but has taught me that bearing pain and suffering pain are too different worlds. I could bear my physical pain by trusting that there is one who can bear it within me and still love, still smile and laugh and genuinely be interested in others happiness. Now I say, yes, the body is in pain but my spirit is in joy – and that is true. I live in my spirit. Pain weds me to the spiritual world that is pouring down grace, manna from heaven, in every moment. The gift it has given me is the ability to choose to focus on what is good, instead of what is bad. Pain cannot destroy love, nor hope, nor the joy of giving to another. Ultimately, it is teaching me the power of resurrection.

  2. Diana, my heart is deeply moved by your sharing, thank you. It reminds me of a quote from Novalis…”The one who flees pain, does not want love.”

  3. Glorious days of sunshine, terrible days of rain; the heavens full of sights such as I have never, ever seen before–the chain of mountains both so solid and so changing is most beloved of all to us. Feelings of redemption are medicine here, you see, and the sacramental must thrive because we need it so very much. Love-suffering and adversity are submerged in the infinite. We are taken up, received. I have never yet lost this certainly.
    From a letter written by Maria Krehbiel-Darmstadter from the internment Camp de Gurs in France around March 20, 1941 to Maria Gnadinger
    Johah, thanks for introducing Maria to us in your recent talk in Silver Spring, MD

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