Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI, Super-Genius

Today what people have in view is eliminating suffering from the world. For the individual, that means avoiding pain and suffering in whatever way. Yet we must also see that it is in this very way that the world becomes very hard and very cold. Pain is part of being human. Anyone who really wanted to get rid of suffering would have to get rid of love before anything else, because there can be no love without suffering, because it always demands an element of self-sacrifice, because, given temperamental differences and the drama of situations, it will always bring with it renunciation and pain.

When we know that the way of love--this exodus, this going out of oneself--is the true way by which man becomes human, then we also understand that suffering is the process through which we mature. Anyone who has inwardly accepted suffering becomes more mature and more understanding of others, becomes more human. Anyone who has consistently avoided suffering does not understand other people; he becomes hard and selfish.

Love itself is a passion, something we endure. In love I experience first a happiness, a general feeling of happiness. Yet, on the other hand, I am taken out of my comfortable tranquility and have to let myself be reshaped. If we say that suffering is the inner side of love, we also understand why it is so important to learn how to suffer--and why, conversely, the avoidance of suffering renders someone unfit to cope with life.

Pope Benedict XVI

(Quote courtesy of the Happy Catholic)


Anonymous said...

Thanks. I needed that.

Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Having Papa Ben confirm that the paradox I suspected is indeed true does nothing to ease my frustration at having, despite being one of the much more catechized of all Catholics my age, never heard it discussed in detail in my presence, nor read about it before now. How the heck does it even fit with normal Catholic views of things for Love, something altogether good (unless we stretch the term), to entail suffering, our experience of and/or innate response to evil? Sure in the case of Christ Himself it's obviously necessary because of the situation, but how does it extend as a principle beyond that? Yes I have a few ideas, but I don't know nearly enough to make them more than vague speculation. Nobody's talked about it that I've heard of. Is everybody so darn busy with apologetics these days that Theology for Theology's sake has been dropped from practice? Because I am amazingly frustrated.