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A presentation teaching the Catholic view of suffering and the problem of pain.

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  1. 1. R.C.I.A. February 27, 2008
  2. 2. The Big Question? <ul><li>Why pain? </li></ul><ul><li>Why Suffering? </li></ul><ul><li>We all experience this state of the human condition. </li></ul><ul><li>How can we reconcile the existence of a God who is all good and all powerful with the fact that suffering and evil are real? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Mystery of Suffering <ul><li>Church views suffering as a mystery. </li></ul><ul><li>The Scriptures shed much light on the subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Christ’s life, Passion, and death provide even more meaning behind the mystery of suffering. </li></ul>
  4. 4. How the question has been answered <ul><li>Basic statements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>God exists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God is good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God is all-powerful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evil exist </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Answers to the Problem <ul><li>#1 God exists </li></ul><ul><li>#2 God is good </li></ul><ul><li>#3 God is all powerful </li></ul><ul><li>#4 Evil exists </li></ul><ul><li>Atheism – denial of #1 </li></ul><ul><li>Pantheism – denial of #2 </li></ul><ul><li>Polytheism – denial of #3 </li></ul><ul><li>Idealism – denial of #4 </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Christian Answer <ul><li>Begins in the Old Testament with the fall. </li></ul><ul><li>The book of Job picks up the issue “Why do good things happen to bad people?” </li></ul><ul><li>Gospel – Response of Christ to suffering. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Understanding the Christian Answer <ul><li>Two Common Misconceptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Evil things exist: - there is nothing physically that is evil. An example – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The attack with the pen </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pen is good </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Swing is good </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aim is good </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The will – that contains the problem – my choice </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Evil is depravation of good. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Moral vs. Physical Evil </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Understanding …. <ul><li># 2: Moral vs. Physical Evil </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sin = moral evil – corruption of free will </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suffering = physical evil resulting from corrupting effect of sin in the world. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Suffering <ul><li>Origin of Evil </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation – Fall of Angels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fall of Adam and Eve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Natural Order is corrupted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corruption of natural order leads to suffering </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disease etc. begins </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. View of Suffering at the time of Christ <ul><li>People suffer because they deserve it. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus changes this view </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Luke 13:1-5 Jesus addresses the crowd and speaks of the 18 who were killed when the tower of Siloam collapses. - “Do you think they were worse offenders?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Old view is still present – in some parts of the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>My friend Mario… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overcoming the old view </li></ul>
  11. 11. Christ changes everything <ul><li>Where is God in the problem of suffering? </li></ul><ul><li>Is he silent? Is he distant? The great clockmaker? </li></ul><ul><li>No </li></ul><ul><ul><li>God becomes incarnate and suffers beside us. He comes down and embraces fully the condition we are in and even endures death on a Cross laying down his life for us. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two Friends on a log - example </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Why death? <ul><li>Why does Christ have to suffer and die? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does it have to be Christ? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why Jesus? <ul><li>Infinite gap has been created by sin. </li></ul><ul><li>Our choice leads to distance between God and us. </li></ul><ul><li>Only someone who is human and divine can bridge that gap? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why death? <ul><li>Why not snap his fingers? </li></ul><ul><li>Covenant had been entered into. </li></ul><ul><li>Only way out of a covenant is death. </li></ul><ul><li>At Christ’s death the Gospel’s record the significant event? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Temple vale torn in two </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth quake etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Josephus records the temple gate collapsed </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Entering into risen life <ul><li>Through our Baptism we die and rise with Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Suffering then can become transformative when we unite our sufferings with the Cross of Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Redemptive Suffering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our suffering unites us with Christ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>St. Paul’s theology – (Colossians) are sufferings help others in the Church when offered up. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value of human dignity affirmed. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Faith and Suffering <ul><li>Christianity does not mean one will never suffer. Not the wealth and health gospel. </li></ul><ul><li>Christ urges us to take up our Cross. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Story of a saint and the cross. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only Suffer what we can handle. </li></ul><ul><li>God brings good out of suffering and evil. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good out of bad? Examples? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We will see clearly in the end. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Quote on Suffering <ul><li>“ God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” </li></ul><ul><li>C.S. Lewis </li></ul>
  18. 18. Continue Learning
  19. 19. Credits <ul><li>Photo Credits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slide 1: From Flickr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sweet suffering </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iraq Wars Windows of Suffering #13 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iraq Wars Windows of Suffering # 10 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slide 2: From Flickr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iraq Wars Windows of Suffering #18 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Credits <ul><li>Slide 3 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Suffering Virgin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Slide 4 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Suffering </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Slide 5 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Belson Cross </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Slide 9 Kiss Angel Wings </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 12 the cross , Isa, Christ, </li></ul>