Presentation on theme: "Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, SALVIFICI DOLORIS Letter of Pope John Paul II February 11, 1984."— Presentation transcript:
1Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, SALVIFICI DOLORIS Letter of Pope John Paul II February 11, 1984.
2Gospel of Suffering The witnesses of the cross and resurrection of Christ present to us aGospel of Suffering
3The Redeemer Himself wrote this Gospel, by His own suffering accepted in love,so that man"should not perish but have eternal life."(John 3:16)
4"Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." Christ tells us that he came "to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.""Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."
5This Gospel of Suffering revealsthe salvificpurpose of sufferingin Christ's mission,in the Church’s missionand, in our mission
6is the greatest proof of His love for men. The Love of Jesustransforms the cross,a horrible instrument of torture,into the most effective meansfor the glory of Godandthe salvation of mankind.The cross of Jesusis the greatest proof of His love for men.
7"If any man would come after me . . . let him take up his cross daily."In order to satisfy Jesus’ moral demands his disciples must"deny themselves.“(Luke 9:23)The way to the kingdom of heaven is"hard and narrow."In contrast to the"wide and easy"way that"leads to destruction."(Cf Mt 7:13-14)Christ did not conceal from His listeners the need for them to suffer.
8you will be hated by all for my name sake. "They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake.You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death;you will be hated by all for my name sake.But not a hair of your head will perish.By your endurance you will gain your lives."(Lk 21:12-19)
9The Gospel speaks of this suffering and persecution being "for his name's sake."The Gospel speaks of this suffering and persecution being"for Christ,""for the sake of Christ"
10will be a particular proof of These persecutionsandtribulationswill be a particular proof oflikenessto Christunionwith Him.
11which speaks of persecutions, ThisGospel of Suffering,which speaks of persecutions,experiencedbecause of Christ,contains in itselfa special calltocourage and fortitude
12Christ has overcome the world definitively by His resurrection. He has at the same time overcome the world by His suffering.
13the marks of the wounds of the cross Christ retainsin His risen bodythe marks of the wounds of the crossin Hishands, feet and side.Paul says:"All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. "(2 Tim 3:12)
14Through his resurrection, Christ makes known the victorious power of suffering.He wishes to plant within the hearts of those whom He chose as Apostlesand those whom He continually chooses and sends forthan appreciation for this power.
15The Gospel of Suffering continues to be written down through historyeven to the current dayby all thosewho suffer together with Christ,uniting their human sufferingsto His sufferingfor our salvation.
16The Gospel of suffering is fulfilled in these people, and,at the same time,it continues in a certain sense to be written:they write it and proclaim itto the world,they announce it to the world in which they live and to the people of their time.
17For in suffering there is concealed a particular power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ,a special grace.
18A result of such grace is not only that We may discover the salvific meaningof suffering,but above all thatthrough suffering we may becomea completely new person.
19We can discover a new dimension, as it were, of our entire life and vocation.This discovery isa particular confirmationof the spiritual greatnesswhich in mankindsurpasses the bodyin a way that is completely beyond compare.
20When our body is gravely ill, totally incapacitated, and we are almost incapable of living and acting,all the more do interior maturity andspiritual greatnessbecome evident,constituting a touching lesson to those who are healthy and normal.
21This interior maturity and spiritual greatness in suffering are certainly the result of a particular conversion and cooperation with the grace of the crucified Redeemer.
22who acts at the heart of human sufferings through His It is He Himselfwho acts at the heart of human sufferings through HisSpirit of truth,throughthe consoling Spirit.
23the very substance of the spiritual life, It is Hewho transforms,the very substance of the spiritual life,indicating for the person who suffers a place close to Himself.
24-as the interior Master and Guide- It is He-as the interior Master and Guide-who reveals to the suffering brother and sister this wonderful interchange,situated at the very heart of the mystery of the Redemption.
25And slowly but effectively, Christ leads into this mysterious world, into this kingdom of the Father,suffering mankind,in a certain sense through the very heart of His suffering.
26and can act from within that suffering For suffering cannot be transformed and changed by the grace from outside,but from within.Christ through His own suffering is very much present in every human suffering,and can act from within that sufferingby the powersof His Spirit of truth.His consoling Spirit.
27wishes to penetrate the soul The divine Redeemerwishes to penetrate the soulof every suffererthrough the heart of His holy Mother,the first and the most exaltedof all the redeemed.
28At the foot of the cross, the dying Christ, conferred upon the ever Virgin Mary a new kind of motherhood-spiritual and universal-towards all human beings
29so that every individual, during the pilgrimage of faith, might remain,together with her,closely united to Him unto the cross,and
30so that every form of suffering, given fresh life by the power of this cross,should become no longer the weakness of man but the power of God.
31the individual enters suffering with a typically human protest We each react tosufferingin different ways.But in generalit can be said thatthe individual enters suffering witha typically human protestand with the question “Why?"How can this be?
32Why? We cannot help noticing that the One to whom we put the question is Himself sufferingand wishes to answer us from the cross,from the heart of His own suffering.Why?
33For it is above all a call. It is a vocation! We hear Christ's saving answeras we ourselves gradually becomesharers in the sufferings of Christ.The answer comes by way of interior encounter with the Master.It is in itself something more than the mere abstract answer to the question about the meaning of suffering.For it is above all a call.It is a vocation!
34Christ says: "Follow me!" Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world,a salvation achieved through my suffering!Through my cross!Gradually, as we take up our cross,spiritually uniting ourselvesto the cross of Christ,the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before us.
35We do not discover this meaning at our own human level, but at the level of the suffering of Christ.At the same time from thislevel of Christthe saving meaning of suffering descends to our level and becomes, in a sense,our personal response.It is then that we find in his suffering interior peace and even spiritual joy.
36This source of joy is found in the overcoming of our sense of the St. Paul speaks of such joy in Col. 1:24:"I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake."This source of joy is found inthe overcoming ofour sense of theuselessness of suffering,this sense not only consumes us interiorly,but convinces us that we have becomea burden to others.
37the salvation of our brothers and sisters. The discovery of thesaving purpose of suffering in union with Christ transforms this depressing feeling.Faith in sharing in the suffering of Christ brings with it the interior certainty that in the spiritual dimension of the work of Redemption we are serving,like Christ,the salvation of our brothers and sisters.
38We are carrying out an irreplaceable service in the Body of Christ, which is ceaselessly bornof the cross of the Redeemer.Suffering,more than anything else,makes presentin the history of humanitythe powerof Redemption.
39in all Christ's suffering brothers and sisters And so the Church seesin all Christ's suffering brothers and sistersas it were a multiple subject of His supernatural power.
40Those who share in the sufferings of Christ The Gospel of suffering is being written unceasingly, and it speaks unceasingly with the words of this strange paradox:the springs of divine power gush forth precisely in the midst of human weakness.Those who share in the sufferings of Christpreserve in their own sufferingsa very special particleof the infinite treasure of the world's redemption,and can share this treasure with others.
41The Cross Becomes a Sacrifice: A ritual offering made to Godby a priest on behalf of the people,as a sign ofadoration, gratitude, supplication, and communion.The sacrifice of Christ on the cross is commemorated and mysteriously made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church.
42The sacrifice of Jesus "for the sins of the whole world" expresses his loving communion with the Father."The Father loves me, because I lay down my life,""[for] I do as the Father has commanded me,so that the world may know that I love the Father."
43Only the way of the cross leads to union with God Jesus reigns from the cross To bear our cross with love is the greatest means of our sanctificationOnly the way of the cross leads to union with GodOur sacrifices have value only inasmuch as they are offered in union with the sacrifice of Jesus
44In the light of the unmatchable example of Christ, reflected with singular clarityin the life of His Mother,the Gospel of suffering,throughthe experience and wordsof the Apostles,becomes an inexhaustible source for each generation that succeeds one anotherin the history of the Church.