In this season of joy, some profound insights into the value of suffering

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Saint Pope John Paul II
– All of those who suffer, especially the innocent, may feel themselves called to participate in the work of redemption, carried out through the cross
– The suffering of the innocent is especially valuable in the eyes of the Lord
– Even when the darkness is deepest, faith points to a trusting acknowledgment: ‘I know that you can do all things’

Sacred Scripture
– Is it not logical that we accept suffering?
– Taking up the cross is the obligation of whoever follows Jesus
– The sufferings of Christ are a cause of rejoicing
– The future glory surpasses all suffering

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin subjected all human nature to suffering
– Sufferings: a means of cooperating with God
– Means of purification and of salvation
– From the greatest of all moral evils God has brought forth the greatest of all goods

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– A new meaning for suffering – participation in the saving work of Jesus
– Makes a person more mature, helping to discern what is not essential

Saint John Chrysostom
– The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

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The danger of subscribing to the falacious “prosperity” Gospel

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Greed is often downplayed today where accumulation and ostentatious display of wealth is often celebrated.  Great rooms with cathedral ceilings, 72″ flat screen TVs and even private home theaters (entertainment centers), fancy cars etc., are shamelessly flaunted.

But greed is at the root of a lot of evils and suffering. Scripture says,

For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. (1 Tim 6:7-10)

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Abortion advocates are essentially no different from Nazis or Soviet Communists. All of them have picked a class of humans to sacrifice.

Let’s take the Nazis for example: over a period of time and by a series of complex political and social occurrences and maneuvers  the Jew became Germany’s scapegoat. Getting rid of Jews (and priests, and gypsies, and homosexuals, and the mentally and physically disabled, etc.) was a necessary sacrifice to make Germany better, more prosperous, and safer.

The exterminations took place somewhere else, where the average Berlin shop girl couldn’t see and wonder at the clusters of buildings surrounded by barbed wire, the oily smoke rising from the chimneys.

“How can you possibly write that?” some of you are screaming at your monitors. “How dare you diminish the suffering of the Holocaust?”

I’m not diminishing anything. You are. Because history repeats itself, and denial is very human.

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In spite of his suffering, Roger Ebert reportedly claimed to be unable to believe in God.

Ebert said of his faith, “I consider myself Catholic, lock, stock and barrel, with this technical loophole: I cannot believe in God.” Despite his Catholic upbringing, Ebert said he has long struggled with God’s existence.

In a April 2009 blog, Ebert noted that though his wife’s faith was strong, he has found that over time “the reality of God was no longer present in my mind.”

Link

Understood By God Alone: The true story of St. John of God.

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I think that you will be enthralled by the passages below as the life of Saint John of God reminds us that to serve God and Him alone as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His Catholic Church will cause us to be misunderstood and maligned by even our closest relatives and former associates.

Read more from  Thomas A. Droleskey

Many who thought Purgatory didn’t exist now know better.

Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill apologized at a news conference and later on the public address system as people were disembarking.

“I appreciate the patience of our guests and their ability to cope with the situation. And I’d like to reiterate the apology I made earlier. I know the conditions on board were very poor,” he said. “We pride ourselves on providing our guests with a great vacation experience, and clearly we failed in this particular case.”

Passenger Ferguson said crew members tried to make the situation bearable.

“They did their best to keep our spirits up,” she said.

Joseph and Cecilia Alvarez of San Antonio said some passengers passed the time by forming a Bible study group.

“It was awesome,” he said. “It lifted up our souls and gave us hope that we would get back.”

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It’s OK. I’m back.

by Doug Lawrence

I took a week off to move, and it took the better part of that week to get my Internet service back up and running.

Something about software issues … and components that didn’t work well together.

It will be at least a few days before regular postings are resumed.

There’s simply too much moving yet to be done, and too many details that still require attention!

Look for “Moving As A Type of Purgatory … The Biblical Basis for Suffering On-The-Go” coming up soon.