Suffering overwhelms us, but cannot defeat us

Q: Many have criticized Pat Robertson’s suggestion that the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti was the work of the devil or … Continued

Q: Many have criticized Pat Robertson’s suggestion that the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti was the work of the devil or a form of divine punishment. But if one believes God is good and intervenes in the world, why does God allow innocents to suffer? What is the best scriptural text or explanation of that problem you’ve ever read?

Now is not the moment to moralize. Such massive suffering overwhelms us. Families are overwrought by a tsunami of grief. There is only one thing to do now: comfort the living, grieve for the dead, help the homeless and injured. Suffering and such suffering is a mystery hard for us to probe. It may even be beyond our understanding. The call now is to unite ourselves to it, that is the only way to understand it. Help, console, work, be silent with the suffering and then, wait. Something always flowers from the ashes.

Some 200,000 dead, so many orphans, so much anguish. We would not be human if we did not suffer. We would not be human if we did not suffer with them. Their grief draws something out of us, something precious. The whole world reaches out to comfort Haiti with hands, prayers, words, actions. Suffering overwhelms us like a wave, but it cannot defeat us. Those who love suffer. Those who love much suffer much. It’s part of the human calculus. Ours is not to judge things we cannot totally understand in the present moment. Why did Jesus choose to die such a terrible death, in front of his own mother? Love is stronger than death, it cannot be defeated.

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  • NorwegianShooter

    Didn’t want you to think nobody cared, Vicar.”It’s part of the human calculus.” Right. So where does God allowing innocents to suffer fit into the human calculus?And since I’ve got you here, where does masochism fit into the Opus Dei calculus?

  • justillthennow

    Carstonio, part 2,I am certain this is not the case, for many reasons, and find that I resent the arrogant assumptions made by rationalists of what my experiences are, (as it fits into their own invested belief system!), and I end up regretting disclosure of these experiences. But let us say that I, subjectively, believe in blind sight, extra sensory communication that is verifiable between humans, the superimposition of physical and spiritual to the point that non-incarnate (for lack of better words) animate beings may interact with flesh and blood humans, and the essential interconnection of all life, to name a few. In some cases I validated experiences with other people to understand if the experiences were mutual and specific. When independent of external human observation, (‘observation’ often becoming a more fluid reality in spiritual experiences), I have had to be all the more critical of my own perceptions. In any case, perhaps enough said in the moment. I return to my agreement with you on the need for empirical verification for objective concurrence and my belief scientific verification will occur when science uncovers the way to do so. How do we see and measure, much less qualify, thought or ‘consciousness’?Nice chatting, Carstonio.

  • justillthennow

    Hello again Carstonio, From JMR threadI believe we are in agreement in virtually all important points here. I share your belief in the requirement of empirical data and confirmation for any phenomenon to validate to the collective the veracity, for the collective, of subjective experiences or postulations of “reality”.”That withholding of judgment is the only intellectually responsible position.”I am not sure that I understand what you are saying here:”That’s the weakness of the supernatural concept – it doesn’t make predictions of data, since the data would be the same whether the hypothesis is true or false.”It is my assumption that all that “Is” would be, at some point, made clear, as the perceptions of the ‘senses’ as well as the extra-senses, (pardon the preferential phrase), of the instrumentation and processes of science for instance, are able to detect and quantify and qualify data, and ‘prove’ any new discovery. Related to the proposed spiritual realm this ability is outside of the realm of science. I assume that it will become within the bounds as understanding grows and qualification can occur. As I said, I am personally convinced of this “spiritual” realm for repeated experiences that have for me no other rationale. I have become hesitant to spell these experiences out as, when done in the past and especially to atheistic/agnostic/scientific types spring to the conviction that I am deluded by brain chemistry to believe what is imagination or hallucination.