"God cannot suffer, but..." -- From St. Bernard

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Continuing to quote from the book, “Mary, – The Church at the Source” on p. 77:

In Bernard of Clairvaux we find the wonderful statement that God cannot suffer, but He can suffer with. With these words, Bernard brings to a certain conclusion the Fathers’ struggle to articulate the newness of the Christian concept of God. Ancient thought considered the passionlessness of pure intellect to be an essential attribute of God. It proved difficult for the Fathers to reject this notion and to think of “passion” in God.

Yet in the light of the Bible they saw quite plainly that “Biblical revelation…upsets everything…the world had thought about God”. They saw that there is an intimate passion in God, indeed that it even constitutes His true essense, love. And because He loves, suffering in the form of compassion is not foreign to Him.

In this connection Origen writes: “In His love for man the Impassable One suffered merciful compassion.” We could only say that the Cross of Christ is God’s compassionate suffering with the world…

God willing, tomorrow I will continue to quote more from the next page in this book and we will see again how Mary is a “reflection of God’s Compassion”. Hopefully those who have read the previous posts on this topic will continue to be blessed by the words of then Cardinal Ratzinger now Pope Emeritus. Beginning on Jan 23, with a post on the Compassion of Jesus, Mary and Joseph up to today Jan 27, there have been 5 posts on this theme of God’s Compassion and how it is reflected most especially in Mary.

God the Holy Spirit continues to bring us into ALL Truth as Jesus promised (cf Jn 16:13) by sharing His Divine Wisdom with those who open the eyes and ears of their hearts, to listen and to ponder all Jesus said and did, even as May listened and pondered all in her Immaculate Heart. Having listened and pondered Mary continually did the Truth. Mary is both Mother and Model of the Church.

Come Holy Spirit!

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Dear patricius,

Thanks so much for your “faithful heart”. I’m so grateful to you and to others who continue to read these posts, and join me in loving Jesus through Mary at this time in history when both of their Hearts are so wounded by unbelievers as well as some in the Catholic Church who should be defending Mary and helping others to see how beautiful a gift from God, Mary is for the whole world.

Let us by God’s Grace continue to pray with attention and devotion especially her Rosary, and also the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for God’s help. All need to keep the eyes and ears of their hearts focused on Jesus as Mary did, pondering all He said and did – that we may become more and more transformed into Christ, as our Mother Mary was and remains.

Yesterday was the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time and given the name “Word of God Sunday”. I wonder how many heard anything about that in the Sunday homily yesterday. Let us continue to pray for all the Clergy and People of the Church, all over the world and especially for those in most need of God’s Mercy. Thanks again, patricius.

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I link to Roy Shoeman’s conversion story on a youtube video below.

He describes when God revealed Himself to him and the deepest part of this experience was coming to understand not only that God knew him by name and cared about him, and lovingly controlled everything that happened to him, but also cared about how he felt, such that what made him happy made God happy, and what made him sad made God sad.

He then describes, one year to the day later, how the Blessed Virgin revealed herself to him. It is very moving and enlightening.

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Dear Stephie and Asone,

Thank you both for your “hearts” and for your love of Jesus through Mary.

Whenever you have time, please share also whatever may have blessed you in any of the quotes from “Mary, --The Church at the Source”. Sometimes, persons are looking for help and they can be blessed in reading something that touches their hearts in a similar way to way God has touched us. Thanks again. :slight_smile:

Dear patricius,

Thanks so much for posting this video. I did not have time until today to watch and listen to this professor’s experience. When I read your words about the professor:

…He describes when God revealed Himself to him and the deepest part of this experience was coming to understand not only that God knew him by name and cared about him, and lovingly controlled everything that happened to him, but also cared about how he felt, such that what made him happy made God happy, and what made him sad made God sad…

I was startled because the professor’s words seemed to reverse the roles of God and man. It seems to me still that it is “God’s Happiness” that should make us happy and not the other way around. Things that may make a person happy may not necessarily make God happy at all. Rather when God sees a person finding his pleasure in doing things contrary to keeping His Commandments, it is an offense against God. In the same way what makes a person sad, does not necessarily make God sad. God can permit trials to sadden us for a time, but God knows the trials are in fact good for us, strengthening our faith.

His experience with Mary is also somewhat puzzling as the professor relates it. While it bears some resemblance to Mary’s words to Elizabeth in Luke’s Gospel : “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord " The questions he asked of her and her answers as he expressed them were not exactly as I would have expected – they seemed more like his own answers somehow than Mary’s answers. But then again, I am not the one who saw or heard her.

Nor am I the one who had this professor’s deep and beautiful experience of God’s Compassionate Love made known to him. He is sharing his own experience and the beauty of God’s Love and Grace coming to us through Mary. May the Lord continue to bless this newly born son and continue his growth is Jesus through Mary.

Thanks again for sharing the video, and I shall share it with others.

Yes, for example, a person might feel very sad about being humiliated in some way. God knows this is a great gift which is good for the person which will help bring him closer to Himself. But I don’t think that prevents God from also “feeling with” that person.

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When I’ve listened to him, I didn’t interpret it as referring to sinful “happiness”. I would think he’s referring to innocent happy events in life, like meeting on old friend.

One part I left out–which shows the balance in what he’s saying, I think–is that he says that he saw how everything that had every happened to him in life was the best thing that could have been arranged by an all-knowing, all-loving God.

He says this ESPECIALLY refers to the things which he had thought of as the greatest catastrophes.

Of course, one needs to realize that these are the words he’s wrapping around what was revealed to him. When he says “arrange”, a better word might be “allowed”, since God doesn’t arrange for crimes to be committed against people.

Dear Patricius,

Actually the quote from “Mary- The Church at the Source” on p.22 says:

"… there is an intimate passion in God, indeed that it even constitutes His true essense, love. And because He loves, suffering in the form of compassion is not foreign to Him.

I think I was startled a bit because I know God loves us, but "suffering with: is different from agreeing with our sadness, it seems to me. His Love understands us better than we understand ourselves. The professor’s testimony is a beautiful one as he was expressing what “he felt” having been given such an experience.

God’s Ways are far above our ways, however, so I may have been startled in the way the professor expressed how “he felt”, but I have no doubt God loves, and cares about us and again to quote the words above: And *because He loves, suffering in the form of compassion is not foreign to Him.

Thanks again for posting the video.

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