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Posts Tagged ‘the cross’


1 Peter 3:8-22: Salvific Suffering – Part IV

Friday, May 12, 2017

Paolo Veronese: Christ Healing a Woman with an Issue of Blood

How do we suffer with Christ?

In light of the suffering the early followers of Christ underwent, we read an excerpt from John Paul II’s Salvifici Doloris, in which he writes that Christ raises human suffering to the level of redemption and answers the question “Why must I suffer?”  John Paul writes: “Christ does not explain in the abstract the reason for suffering, but before all else he says ‘Follow me!’ Come!  Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world, a salvation achieved through my suffering!’  . . .  Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him.  He does not discover this meaning at his own human level, but at the level of the suffering Christ.  At the same time . . . the salvific meaning of suffering descends to man’s level and becomes, in a sense, the individual’s personal responseIt is then that man finds in his suffering interior peace and even spiritual joy.  A source of joy is found in the overcoming of the sense of the uselessness of suffering, a feeling that is sometimes very strongly rooted in human suffering . . . Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserve in their own suffering a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world’s redemption . . .”

As we read from a letter written either by Peter or by someone in his name, we hear this faithful follower say that suffering brings us to a cross that not only symbolizes pain, but that also emanates love and grace.  We hear Pater tell us that salvific suffering is holy when we allow ourselves to suffer with and in Christ, when we allow our experience to become Christ’s gift to us.  And once we live out this deep, transforming love, we will want to return this gift to Christ, and hence to the world. This is how we best understand sorrow. This is how we best offer our pain to the world.

Tomorrow, the baptism of Christ’s love.

To read Salvifici Doloris, go to: https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1984/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_11021984_salvifici-doloris.html

Adapted from a Favorite written in November 10, 2007.

 

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1 Peter 2: Shepherd of Souls

Sunday, June 26, 2016

John Everett Millais: Christ in the Carpenter's Shop

John Everett Millais: Christ in the Carpenter’s Shop

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25)

We humans tend to shy away from suffering of any kind, even when we know that we learn from our mistakes and not from our successes. As we consider our many failures, rather than focus on our imperfections, let us rather consider how persistent we might be in following the one true Shepherd of souls.

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 5.0

John Herbert: The Youth of Our Lord

Critics comment that Herbert foreshadows the cross with the workshop bits on the ground and we see how the young Jesus stares intently at these pieces of wood which have carelessly fallen into the shape of a cross. The family in Millais’s painting was seen as too “ordinary” when it was first shown. What might the criticism be today?

To learn more about these paintings, click on the images. To suggest other images we might enjoy seeing, enter the painter and the name of the work as a the comment to this post.

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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