The Wisdom Of The Cross

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A Passionist reflection on "The Wisdom of the Cross" as presented by St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthian community

A Passionist reflection on "The Wisdom of the Cross" as presented by St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthian community

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  • 1. The Wisdom of the Cross A Reflection on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
  • 2. Presentation Format
    • The Gospel reading and commentaries
    • Reflection and Sharing
    • Passionist Spirituality
    • Pope Benedict Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ”
    • An American Experience
    • Open discussion
  • 3. 1 Corinthian 1: 18-25
    • The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…
    • … For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
  • 4. Commentaries
    • The Cross is a scandal and a source of embarrassment for the early Christians
    • Paul emphasizes the Cross because it defies human logic and with the Cross the Gospel will not be “emptied of its power.”
    • Accepting a crucified savior means that Christians must look at their society in a completely new way
  • 5. Reflection: Christ died for our sins
  • 6. Reflection: Christ died for our sins
  • 7. Passionist Spirituality
    • Passionist Constitutions, #3
      • We are aware that the Passion of Christ continues in this world until He comes in glory… We wish to share in the distress of all, especially those who are poor and neglected;
      • The power of the Cross, which is the wisdom of God, gives us strength to discern and remove the causes of human suffering.
  • 8. Passionist Spirituality
    • St. Paul of the Cross, letter 12/12/1769
      • I received your letter in which I learn the present state in which you are finding dryness, abandonment, and internal and external pain.
      • Since these things have come from divine love, it is necessary that you pass through the path of pure naked suffering so that… your soul is well purified and clean of all those imperfections that are beyond the vision of our eyes.
      • Then you may fly high and repose
      • on the heavenly bosom that is pure
      • love and is God the Highest Good,
      • who is all love and charity
  • 9. Passionist Spirituality
    • The Experience of Suffering
      • Suffering is a common experience for us all
      • Suffering will cause us to reassess our lives
      • How shall we respond to suffering
        • We can either be open to the experience and allow ourselves to be sensitize or
        • We can close ourselves off and be desensitize to ourselves and the world.
  • 10. Passionist Spirituality
    • “ The memory of the Passion is a transformative influence on suffering enhancing
    • its role as a component of the
    • compassion whose activity can
    • be central in the process of
    • becoming a moral person.”
    • “ For suffering within a Christian
    • life to have this potential for
    • compassion, the memory of the
    • Passion can be a nurturing
    • resource.”
  • 11. Passionist Spirituality
    • The Compassionate Person
      • A person can be transformed by suffering and emerge with Compassion
      • Compassion addresses the suffering of others, in a way comparable to one’s own experience of suffering.
      • Compassion unifies us with others who are suffering
      • “ Compassion in the Christian setting is love with a facility for addressing suffering. It is a suffering love”
      • “ Compassion is charity before the suffering of others”
  • 12. Spe Salvi
    • Pope Benedict XVI wrote his second encyclical in 2007.
    • An encyclical is a circular letter from the Pope to all the Bishops and the Catholic faithful that discusses a teaching of the Universal Church.
    • The 2007 encyclical, Spe Salvi ,
    • discusses the Church’s theology
    • on the topic of Christian Hope.
  • 13. Spe Salvi
    • Suffering is part of our human existence
    • We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it.
    • When we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt… we drift into a life of emptiness, in which… the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater.
  • 14. Spe Salvi
    • In the history of humanity, it was the Christian faith that had the particular merit of bringing forth within man a new and deeper capacity for these kinds of suffering that are decisive for his humanity.
    • Humanity is worth so much to God that he himself became man in order to suffer with us in an utterly real way—in flesh and blood—as is revealed to us in the account of Jesus' Passion. Hence in all human suffering we are joined by one who experiences and carries that suffering with us; hence con-solatio is present in all suffering, the consolation of God's compassionate love—and so the star of hope rises
  • 15. Spe Salvi
    • The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through “com-passion” is a cruel and inhuman society.
    • To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake of truth and justice; to suffer out of love and in order to become a person who truly loves—these are fundamental elements of humanity
  • 16. The Wisdom of the Cross: an American experience
    • John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Robert F. Kennedy was inconsolable for a time.
    • RFK found comfort with a simple quote from the Greek philosopher.
    • April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. RFK was campaigning for the Presidency in Indianapolis where there was a considerable African-
    • American community. At the
    • news RFK shared his quote and
    • consoled the community.
    • That evening riots were taking place
    • throughout the U.S. except Indianapolis
    • which remained peaceful and calm.
  • 17.
    • He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart. And in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful Grace of God. - Aeschylus
  • 18. Thank You for your Attention and Consideration