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Suffering

In the Old Testament, Job tells us very frankly of his experience and feelings when faced with immense suffering and injustice.Delia Smith in her book ‘A journey into God’ offers her insight into faith and human suffering

‘Suffering, in essence is a signpost to God. It is a state we are all aware of, and most familiar with, where human effort, energy and ingenuity fall short. It is the point where we can be reduced to helplessness, and the burden can become too heavy  for us to do anything but try to switch off  the pain.

But how can all this point to God?  It points to God  because in suffering  we can define the limitations  of human life, but at the same time see the potential of what it is actually meant to encompass. In demonstrating  that all is not well with the human race, it illuminates the possibility of moving beyond suffering to be saved and set free from it.’

Oh, Lord remember not only the men and women of goodwill, but also those of ill-will. But do not remember all the suffering they inflicted on us: remember the fruits we have bought thanks to this suffering-our comradeship, our loyalty,our humility,our courage , our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to the judgement let all the fruits we have borne be their forgiveness.

(Found on a piece of wrapping paper near the dead body of a child at Ravensbrook, a WW11 concentration camp)

Let nothing disturb us, nothing alarm us:
while all things fade away
God is unchanging.
Help us be patient
so that we gain everything:
for with God in our hearts
nothing is lacking,
God meets our every need
(St Teresa of Avila, 16th century)

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