VOLUME 13 NUMBER 2
Suffering that can redeem
Suffering, sin and scripture
Luke Timothy Johnson
Is suffering evil? Luke Timothy Johnson, who is Professor of New Testament at the Chandler School of Theology, Emory University, Georgia, USA, shows how the New Testament teaching challenges the contemporary heresy that identifies suffering with evil. 'In the name and in the power of Jesus we therefore embrace the suffering that comes to us as an opportunity for transfiguration...'
Sharing Christ's pain
Frances Teresa OSC
St Francis of Assisi was marked by the wounds of Christ. Sr Frances Teresa is a member of the Poor Clares at Arundel, West Sussex, and author of This Living Mirror (DLT 1998). Here she examines suffering in the experience of a saint. 'Comprehensive theories of suffering will do nothing to eliminate suffering itself. For that we need to discover, as Francis and Clare did, how fruitful the dark chaos of our own spirit can be.'
Where is your God?
Richard J. Hauser SJ
How can the parish help?
Suffering can leave people helpless. How can the Church be a support? Christine Fletcher, a mother of four children and, until recently, assistant editor of Priests and People, suggests different ways in which the parish can serve its members when they are suffering so that 'our parishes can be beacons of hope and islands of care in a suffering world'.
Redeeming the sufferings of war
How can a Christian respond to the terrible sufferings which continue to be caused by war? James O'Connell, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, examines the way Christian tradition has responded. 'We can redeem the times and restore creation only through the purifying endurance of patience, the restoring work of justice and the generous magnanimity of forgiveness.'
The question 'Why?' can lead us to God
People react to suffering in many different ways. Elizabeth Greeley suffers from cerebral palsy and has written an account of her struggle with it in The Unclear Path - a life beyond disability (Hodder & Stoughton, 1996). Here she reflects how she herself and others too have come closer to God through their pain.
From a layperson's perspective
The chalice: why bother?
Fr Philip Dixon, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, asks why communion in both kinds is so little practised, and urges its more frequent use.
Preaching and teaching the Word
Denis Geraghty OP
Denis Geraghty, who is prior of St Dominic's Priory in London, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays and Solemnities of April, the Easter month.
Postscript: Heroes and saints
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