Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Thought

I think you're returning to an earlier implication...that suffering in this life, especially that which is voluntarily embraced, may enhance one's beatitude beyond that of which an unfallen creature was capable of realizing. The only argument against it that occurs to me is the case of the Blessed Virgin, who, as Catholics, we believe holds a place of honor in heaven second only to her Son. Why, one might ask? Is it only that it is appropriate, because she bore the Saviour? She surely suffered nothing like the [physical] torments inflicted on the martyrs. By what merit other than motherhood is she owed this place of honor?

But here is where her example turns in your favor. She did suffer, and more, she was innocent, and did not forsake that innocence for the serpent's fruit. All around her lay nothing but sin, our worldly sea of iniquity in which the wicked prosper, but if she was ever tempted she did not yield. What source of sorrow must the sight of the world have been to her (and how much more the sufferings of her Son)? It seems nearly impossible for we fallen ones to understand the offense that sin gives to innocence...So under the assumption that she never suffered bodily persecution, it may be that that suffering of the spirit that only innocence can know is of far greater depth than any produced by physical pain. (I have often wondered which hurt Christ more - the physical torture, or the knowledge that His own children were murdering Him?) So the idea that suffering might enhance beatitude is one about which I claim no certainty, but not one that I find alien.

1 comment:

alicia said...

suffering - ah, the problem of pain. my eldest daughter has lately been asking that people not pray for her to acquire patience or strength, because she has been going through close to hell on earth, and is of necessity developing those traits.