On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering

“On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering (Salvifici Doloris)” by Pope St. John Paul II

Suffering is something which we will all experience in our lives.  When we suffer in union with Christ, it can be a source of innumerable graces and blessings, a powerful means through which our lives are transformed and made holy.  We saw this example of suffering lived deeply and authentically in the life of the author of this apostolic letter, our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.

From the very beginning of his priestly ministry, Pope John Paul II identified himself with the sick and the suffering.  For him, all human suffering had meaning, value, and purpose.  It was his great love for us, his desire to share the message of joy and hope in suffering that inspired him to write Salvifici Doloris.

In it, he explores the various ways that we experience suffering in the world, he reflects on the origins of suffering and examines our quest for its meaning, and he shows us how it is only in Christ that we can hope to find any meaning and purpose in our experience of suffering.  Reflecting on this document has the potential to change lives.  (Description from ENDOW.)

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