Quotes from Suffering

The Unbearable

What is unbearable is not to suffer but to be afraid of suffering. To endure a precise pain, a definite loss, a hunger for something one knows—this it is possible to bear. One can live with this pain. But in fear there is all the suffering of the world: to dread suffering is to suffer an infinite pain since one supposes it unbearable.

No Other Option?

When you look at human suffering concretely you destroy all innocence, all neutrality, every attempt to say, “It wasn’t I; there was nothing I could do; I didn’t know.” In the face of suffering you are either with the victim or the executioner—there is no other option.

Not a God of Fortune

The Christian God is no little god of fortune, in whose kingdom it is possible to remain free of want and sorrow. Jesus—multiplying loaves and healing the sick—could have had all this; indeed can have it. Instead Jesus identified with the suffering and for the sake of their sicknesses became sick; for the sufferers’ sake he suffered abuse; in order to overcome death he, like everyone else, became mortal. To accept the way of Jesus means also to hold on to the paradox.

The Only Choice

We don’t have the choice of avoiding suffering and going around all these deaths. The only choice we have is between the absurd cross of meaninglessness and the cross of Christ, the death we accept apathetically as a natural end and the death we suffer as a passion…. If in the night of despair the soul does not cease loving “in the void,” then the object of its love can rightly be called “God.”

God Suffers With

Redemption does not come to people from outside or from above. God wants to use people in order to work on the completion of creation. Precisely for this reason God must also suffer with the creation.