Suffering

“One of the more horrible examples of inverted or upside-down thinking (and history is full of horrible examples of this) was the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution.’ I shed many tears over this, but it is by no means the only time I said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.43.8:1-2)

In this passage from the complete edition of A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us personally what type of reaction he has had and continues to have over the terrible deeds of humankind and the suffering these deeds have wrought for ordinary people. He specifically refers to unspeakable crimes against Jewish people during World War II. Jesus responds with an appeal to the Father, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

His reaction is to be our own when we consider awful occurrences of human against human in this world. Jesus says that he has repeated his prayer with many incidents. We must do the same.

In this world, we cannot ever understand the “why” of suffering that innocent human beings undergo. Pat Rodegast’s Emmanuel says this. Perhaps an incomplete answer would be that it is enough for us to recognize in our own suffering that, when it is passed, we comprehend more; we may never understand, but we can realize that through it all, God was with us, and we have grown. I do not mean to say that the end justifies the means. We simply can’t with our little minds wrap around the awful things that people go through. It is a mystery.

But God does not “cause” our suffering. And it is never right, Jesus tells us in A Course of Love, to blame the victim. Jesus indicates that we are to have compassion, not heartlessness. Love is the healer of suffering, the end in sight. Jesus indicates this also elsewhere in A Course of Love. In “The Way of the Heart” (from The Way of Mastery), Jesus even affirms, “There is no suffering.” Of course we can’t know fully what he means.

If we believe that God is living through us, then He is experiencing right along with us. His Presence makes all the difference when we are confronted with eternal questions that seem to have no answer. Especially when that eternal question is the “why” of suffering.

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2 thoughts on “Suffering

  1. I especially liked that you mentioned “If we believe that God is living through us, then He is experiencing right along with us.” This is a message that I have read in many books, and it really rings true to me.

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely post!

  2. I also think something else worth mentioning here is that God, who might not cause the suffering, does allow the suffering; however, He never gives us more than that which we can bear. I must remind myself that constantly or else I’d never been able to make it through some of the misery I’ve experienced. -Madcow

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