The existence of evil is a pressing human question. Among the consequences of evil, suffering, sickness, anguish, and death are the most distressing. Something within human persons suggests that these are things that ought not to be, that suffering, sickness, anguish, and death fall extremely short of expectations for personal happiness and fulfillment. In his Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering), John Paul II tells us that human suffering “is a universal theme that accompanies man at every point on earth: in a certain sense it coexists with him in the world, and thus demands to be constantly reconsidered.”1
In this treatise we will not consider so much the “why” of suffering, although we will touch on it briefly, but rather, acknowledge along with John Paul II that suffering in all its forms “seems to be, and is, almost inseparable from man’s earthly existence.”2 Since suffering is, has been, or will be a challenge we each face, we will look at suffering from the standpoint of Redemption and examine reasons for understanding and accepting suffering’s “redemptive” value.
... Michelle Willis
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