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Why Suffering? Because Love.

This is the fifth of a series of seven meditations examining the Christian meaning of suffering according to the thought of Pope St. John Paul II in his 1984 apostolic letter “Salvifici Doloris.”

In the first part of his meditation, John Paul II unpacks suffering in light of man’s nature, the transcendent quality of man’s suffering in particular, the vocational quality of man’s suffering, the cause of suffering (namely, evil) and the biblical character of Job and its relationship to justice. In the second part, he transitions his meditation on suffering in relationship to divine love.

He writes: “Love is also the richest source of the meaning of suffering, which always remains a mystery: we are conscious of the insufficiency and inadequacy of our explanations. Christ causes us to enter into the mystery and to discover the ‘why’ of suffering, as far as we are capable of grasping the sublimity of divine love” (“Salvifici Doloris,” Paragraph 13).

Continue reading this article at Catholic San Francisco.

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