views of suffering


#1

After viewing EWTN and listening to commentators on the Pope’s death, I have been struck by the fact that Catholics seem to have a slightly different view of suffering then Protestants. It isn’t something that I can completly put into words. It seems that Catholics don’t neccesarily believe that suffering is something to be avoided? I am a bit confused about this issue but I think that it might play into the different ways of viewing salvation, the rapture, even purgatory. I am not trying to start an argument between Catholics and Prots. Just very curious if any one else has noticed this and if someone here could clarify this for me.


#2

Hi!

I’m sure someone else will explain, but I will leave you with the explaination in our Papa’s own writing, “SALVIFICI DOLORIS” or "On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering"

the rapture, even purgatory

They do, but as for the rapture, Catholics do not hold to that theory. It may be easier to begin another thread to explain why we have never believed this (this theory is less than 200 years old!), or search for a thread on it-here, or the catholic answers website itself. Much of it has to do with translation difficulty. We always refer back to the original languages, whereas in my experience with friends, they will rely on english only- and only the current meaning of a word, and not taking into account what it may have ment at the time it was translated.

I hope you have a beautiful day, it is very nice here :).


#3

It seems that Catholics view suffering as a something to be offered up for others. (I’m not an expert here as I’m new to this concept). As a former protestant I used to view suffering as something to overcome. With regards to offering it up, I would only offer it up to God i.e.: cast your burdens upon the Lord.

I would seek correction on this from Catholics if I am wrong but here is my current view. I see suffering as both something to offer up for others and an opportunity to have faith and strength not of myself in tough times. I feel that the things we can learn in hard times as a Christian are very valuable in the over all development in the faith journey.

The only difference I see is the idea of offering up suffering for others is not shared by Protestants. Everything else like faith and patience in the spirit are agreed upon as far as I know. So it all comes down to prots having the right idea but not all of it (per usual).

I can’t honestly see any connection between the prots and Catholics with regards to things like salvation or the rapture that can be connected to the issue of suffering.

-D


#4

Suffering is what we make of it. When we suffer we share an experience that Jesus, the Good Thief and the Bad Thief all had on the first Good Friday.

Through his suffering and death Our Lord brought redemption into the world.

Through his suffering the Good Thief saw the suffering face of Jesus and prayed for his mercy and received it.

Through his suffering the Bad Thief turned his face from Jesus and died as he had lived in anger and bitterness.

Catholics are not called upon to seek out suffering but if it comes Holy Church invites us to embrace it as the Cross that unites us in a mysterious fashion to the Cross of Christ. Suffering can bring forth love, strength, humility and all the virtues. It can bring forth their opposites too. The choices we make are of value not only for ourselves but for those around us and the world beyond.

2 Cor 12:9-10 **And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

**John Paul wrote an Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris on this very subject ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2salvi.htm which begins

[left]1. Declaring the power of salvific suffering, the Apostle Paul says: “In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church”(1).
[/left]
[left]These words seem to be found at the end of the long road that winds through the suffering which forms part of the history of man and which is illuminated by the Word of God. These words have as it were the value of a final discovery, which is accompanied by joy. For this reason Saint Paul writes: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake”(2). The joy comes from the discovery of the meaning of suffering, and this discovery, even if it is most personally shared in by Paul of Tarsus who wrote these words, is at the same time valid for others. The Apostle shares his own discovery and rejoices in it because of all those whom it can help—just as it helped him—to understand the salvific meaning of suffering.
[/left]


#5

[quote=alyssa]Hi!
They do, but as for the rapture, Catholics do not hold to that theory. It may be easier to begin another thread to explain why we have never believed this (this theory is less than 200 years old!), or search for a thread on it-here, or the catholic answers website itself. Much of it has to do with translation difficulty. We always refer back to the original languages, whereas in my experience with friends, they will rely on english only- and only the current meaning of a word, and not taking into account what it may have ment at the time it was translated.

I hope you have a beautiful day, it is very nice here :).
[/quote]

Oh no. I understand that Catholics don’t hold the same views on the rapture. I was just thinking that the avoidance of suffereing might be why there is such a strong belief in the Rapture. Maybe some, notice I did not say all, Protestants believe in the rapture because they think that GOd would not let them suffer?

I know that I have worded the post badly. I am coming from a very fundamentalist background(planning on converting) and that might be the problem. ALso, it might be hard for some Catholics to answer the question because they have never stood outside their own religion and tried to fathom it as an outsider.


#6

I think that I was thinking that the most extreme form of OSAS sort of gives that particular segment of Protestants assurance without having to search their souls or consciouses? As someone who has had to search her soul numerous times in her life, I can assure you that can be a kind of suffering.

I am sorry, if I have confused anyone with my question.


#7

Oh no. I understand that Catholics don’t hold the same views on the rapture. I was just thinking that the avoidance of suffereing might be why there is such a strong belief in the Rapture. Maybe some, notice I did not say all, Protestants believe in the rapture because they think that GOd would not let them suffer?

Ahhhh,

I see what your saying now. I think there is a difference in the interpretation of the scriptures that prots use to justify the rapture idea. There have been ‘great tribulations’ all through human history.

I see no evidence that God will spare us the cross we are called to bear. I also believe that he will protect his Church.

I know that I have worded the post badly. I am coming from a very fundamentalist background(planning on converting) and that might be the problem. ALso, it might be hard for some Catholics to answer the question because they have never stood outside their own religion and tried to fathom it as an outsider.

Same here, I’m converting as well. Your making the right choice, the Catholics realy are right. :slight_smile: I honestly never thought I would say that. Welcome to the truth.

-D


#8

I think that I was thinking that the most extreme form of OSAS sort of gives that particular segment of Protestants assurance without having to search their souls or consciouses?

What is OSAS? Do you think that prots use the rapture as an exuse to avoid internal examination along with the idea that there need to hold to salvation as unconditional is an exuse to sin or avoid being accountable? This may in fact be true in some cases.

As someone who has had to search her soul numerous times in her life, I can assure you that can be a kind of suffering.

I agree,

Suffering can come in a million forms, growing as a Christian can be quite painful at times. I would say this qualifies as suffering for sure.

-D


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