redemptive suffering

What is my role?

There is a Scripture verse many people are probably familiar with, but it seems to have taken on a new significance in light of some of the recent trials we are facing in our modern society. It is one you do not hear mentioned very often by ministers, perhaps because it is somewhat difficult to understand, and certainly very difficult […]

The Crucifix’s Reminder

It’s not easy to be Christian in today’s world. It seems that those who treat their neighbors as stepping stones prosper, that those who seek pleasure have the most fun, and those who disregard even the natural law flourish. It is natural, perhaps, to feel as if we should be rewarded in this life for our obedience to God. And […]

The Problem of Suffering

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

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 […]

How do I offer something up?

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

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 […]