suffering

Father Hans Urs von BalthasarFather Hans Urs von Balthasar

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Father Hans Urs von Balthasar

“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.” (Father Hans Urs von Balthasar) Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, considered one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, was named to become a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II, but died before the consistory took […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

The Problem of Suffering

I remember sitting in my Introduction to Moral Theology class as a college undergraduate and being asked, “What is the problem of suffering, and how do we respond to it?”  We were then introduced to Rabbi Harold Kushner, who wrote a book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People.  Rabbi Kushner explained that there are three basic premises we […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Tightening my grip

There are few things in life that make you desire to be a child again more than being sick. (Other than Disney World, but that’s a completely different and much nicer feeling.)  When I had the misfortunate of being waylaid by a bug earlier this week, all I could think was that I wanted my mommy. There was no one […]

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Daily Lenten Reflection—Know That God Is With You

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) We sometimes […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Finding Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). The Paradox of the Cross The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Francis

“Crowd, celebration, praise, blessing, peace: it is a climate of joy that is being experienced. Jesus has reawakened many hopes of the heart, above all in the humble people, the simple, poor, forgotten, those who do not count in the eyes of the world. He understood human misery, he manifested the face of God’s mercy and deigned to heal the […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

The Cross: Absurdity or Power?

If your leader was brutally scourged, publicly humiliated and made a sport of, then killed on a hill for all to see, wouldn’t you be tempted to downplay the event?  Instead, what does Paul tell the Corinthians? He not only doesn’t downplay it, he preaches it. He proclaims not just a risen Christ, but first a Christ crucified. (1 Cor […]

"Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man" by Nicolas Poussin (1655)"Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man" by Nicolas Poussin (1655)

How do I offer something up?

Someone once pointed out to me that Jesus didn’t cure all the sick in Israel.  We were discussing the mystery of suffering, so it sounded like a nice thought at the time, and I accepted it without much thought.  But it bothered me later. How do we know?  In Matthew 13 we hear that Jesus did not perform many miracles in […]

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Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Paul of the Cross

“Oh cherished cross! Through thee my most bitter trials are replete with graces!” (St. Paul of the Cross) October 20 is the Optional Memorial of St. Paul of the Cross (A.D. 1694 – 1775). September 14 is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Print this entry

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — 1 Peter 4:12-13

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13) Print this entry