Tag Archives: Matthew Fox

My soul resource in suffering

Now that I have begun my residency for hospital chaplaincy, I have had plenty of opportunity to reflect on my view and process of suffering. In a recent conversation with a friend, I was asked my view on suffering as it pertains to helping others work through their own suffering and being able to internally deal with my own suffering and that suffering I hear on a daily basis. How do I not become overwhelmed? How do I translate my views in such a way that helps the other despite differences in theology or spiritual paths? What is even appropriate to share with others about why suffering happens?

Why does suffering happen anyway? My immediate response is one of, “I really don’t know.” There is some suffering that simply cannot be explained. I have heard from many different places that we live in a sinful world, that humanity is inherently sinful because of what Adam and Eve did in the garden when they disobeyed God. So because humanity is sinful, we do sinful things, and of course that is why we need to repent and believe the right things about Jesus so that we have access to his transformational power to change our nature and at least not have to suffer for all of eternity. In my thinking, this doesn’t cut it in so many ways. It still doesn’t answer why I and so many others still have to face suffering in this life. It also seems like a minimization of someone’s current troubles in order to fit them into a system of beliefs that moves them from focusing on the pain here and now to hope in something that they or we haven’t experienced yet. It doesn’t fit with my belief in a God who suffers with us and doesn’t want his children to suffer. I have also heard people say that suffering happens to teach us something. While God doesn’t want us to suffer, he allows it to happen to us so we can become stronger. I could never give this to someone as a reason for why they are suffering. “God wants to teach you something.” What kind of help does that give when someone has lost their child or their loved one, or they are faced with the loss of a limb or cancer? Continue reading My soul resource in suffering

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Community, worship, and a future…

From Matthew Fox

The Cosmic Christ calls us to renewed worship: “Come to me all you who are burdened by lack of praise, lack of beauty, lack of vision in your lives. Look about you at the starry heavens and the deep, deep sea; at the amazing history that has birthed a home for you on this planet; at the surprise and joy of your existence. Gather together – you and your communities – in the context of this great, cosmic community to rejoice and give thanks. To heal and let go. To enter the dark and deep mysteries, to share the news, to break the bread of the universe and drink the blood of the cosmos itself in all its divinity. Be brave. Let your worship make you strong and great again. Never be bored again. Create yourselves, re-create your worlds, by the news you share and the visions you celebrate. Bring your sense of being microcosm in a vast macrocosm; bring your bodies; bring your play; bring your darkness and your pain. Gather and do not scatter. Learn to not take for granted and learn this together. Become a people. Worship together.