The music is sung by the Holy Redeemer Choir. Holy Mary, poor and humble Woman, blessed by the Most High! Virgin of hope, prophecy of the new times, we join in your song of praise, to celebrate the mercies of the Lord, to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom and the full liberation of humanity. Hail Mary, humble servant of the Lord, glorious Mother of Christ! Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling of the Word, teach us to persevere in listening to the Word, to be docile to the voice of the Spirit, attentive to his appeals in the intimacy of our conscience and to his manifestations in the events of history. Hail Mary, Woman of sorrow, Mother of the living!
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In, , Pope Saint John Paul II penned an Apostolic Letter on the mystery of human suffering, Salvifici Doloris curiously, now looking back, the same year he made his first apostolic journey to Canada. One priest in a talk I heard recently mentioned that it may be remembered as one of his most prophetic works, with which I concur.
Tragically, the vehicle somehow slipped on the moss-and-algae covered pier, plunging into the cold, dark water. A young man on shore, Davitt Walsh, witnessing this stripped to his boxers and courageously swam out, trying in vain to rescue them. The father, Sean, managed to pass his infant daughter to the water-treading rescuer, I suppose through a window he managed to pry open or that was ajar:. The car went down. The whole lot went down. It was so fast. But we should be clear that evil has no positive existence, but is rather a state in which a good is missing, which should normally be there.
The more desired is the missing good, the greater will be the experience of evil. The exterior dimensions of evil, hunger, aloneness, war, pains of the body, only give us some glimpse into what is occurring within the person. The Holy Father examines what really is the definitive evil that Man can experience. It removes our experience of evil, but is also the worst evil.
Or is it? That really is the question. It is a revealed dogma of our Faith that Man is an immortal being, whose life and actions here and now in some mysterious way determine his eternal destiny. There is nothing that so evinces, and is so requisite to, love than the willingness to suffer for the other. I am more or less convinced that at some level every person knows they will be judged on love, and the real evil is to reject this love, to live a life of hatred of others, subtle or not, closed in upon oneself in bitterness and anger.
The opposite of salvation is not, therefore, only temporal suffering, any kind of suffering, but the definitive suffering: the loss of eternal life, being rejected by God, damnation. The only-begotten Son was given to humanity primarily to protect man against this definitive evil and against this definitive suffering. It is in this light that we should see the sufferings of this life, and why they are not only to be borne with patience, but, if one can by grace muster it, even accepted with joy.
There is still a mystery here. Why suffering as a means to holiness and final redemption? The key to answering this mystery lies in the reality of sin , the primordial evil wherein Man rejects God, refuses to serve and obey, and exalts himself against his Creator and Father. Again Saint Peter:. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips.
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
Further, Christ does not need our sufferings, but allows us to suffer so that we might participate in His redemptive work for our own sake , so that we become more conformed to Him, hence to God. This is the mystery of our unity in the Mystical Body of Christ, and why innocents like Christ, our Lady, and, yes, saints and even little children can suffer, plunging unexpectedly to depths of the Irish sea on an early spring evening.
Of course, this is nowhere near the modern, utilitarian mindset, which sees all things governed by blind chance, with life nothing but a protoplasmic accident waiting to return to the oblivion whence it arose.
To them, the Donegal family, the passengers waiting in the check-in line at the Brussels airport, those unlucky enough to still be stuck in Syria, were all in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Thus we reach the limits of our understanding of the mystery of salvific suffering, stretching out towards the eternity to which we are all called after this transitory existence. Friday, June 5, About Advertising Submission Resources Contact. Catholic Insight.
The Formula for Happiness and St. John Paul II’s Salvifici Doloris
Its theme was suffering in general in the light of the cross and salvific or redemptive suffering in particular. It was issued in connection with the Holy Jubilee Year of Redemption. Its foundational Bible text was taken from the words of the Apostle Paul where he said: "In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church". The theme of redemptive suffering or "partnership in suffering" is included in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Scriptural allusions in the document include the sufferings of Paul the Apostle , Isaiah 's depiction of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 and Jesus 's parable of the Good Samaritan. In the Cross of Christ not only is the Redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed,.
Summary of Salvifici Doloris (on the Christian meaning of human suffering)
What follows is an executive summary of Pope St. Thanks for posting this summary. I read your summary first, then read the Apostolic Letter, and reread you summary. So much to reflect upon here, so much to learn.