Friday, August 2, 2013

"If there was a God, he wouldn't let me feel the way I do." -Kip Kinkle

The picture on the right is of a fifteen year old boy we all know well. Few doubt his psychological pain and turmoil and the intense suffering he must have felt. Yet, why did he draw the conclusion that because we feel miserable, God does not exist?

It's not hard to see how Kip came to that conclusion. We live in a "feel good" world.  We live in a world where truth is relative, we are the center of the universe and God is only real if the world runs as we think it should and we think we should feel good.

For centuries, people understood how pain and suffering had an important place in spiritual growth and development. This understanding was often taken for granted. In fact, many believed that the greatest love God ever showed was to suffer with us, to show us that he would not ask us to bear anything he hadn't borne before us. 

In this world where most believe feeling good is the most important goal a human being can have, some of us still believe life is about much more. Suffering is not proof there is no God. Suffering helps us realize we need to rely on God. There is medicine available for suffering that creates sickness of soul. We find it through uniting our suffering with the suffering of Christ, so that our love has purpose far beyond ourselves and for all mankind. God doesn't take our suffering away when it can give Him an opportunity to show His love through us. When we hurt, God is with us, closely with us, and that is why he came to die for us and with us.

Here are some quotes from Carmelite Saints. They express this so much better than I can-

"The purest suffering bears and carries in its train the purest understanding."
-St. John of the Cross

"Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross."
-St. John of the Cross

"Truth suffers, but never dies."
-St. Teresa of Avila

"Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved."
-St. John of the Cross

"There is no affliction, trial, or labor difficult to endure, when we consider the torments and sufferings which Our Lord Jesus Christ endured for us."
-St. Teresa of Jesus

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