NEWSLETTER INSERT - THE MEANING OF SUFFERING

In the Gospel for this Third Sunday of Lent, Jesus insists that suffering does not depend on what we deserve or don't. Below is a paragraph written by a dying man who is suffering - Fr Michael Paul Gallagher who died from cancer in 2016. Profound.


“False religion says: ‘fear not, trust in God and none of the things you fear will happen to you’. Real religion says ‘fear not - the things you are afraid of are likely to happen but they are nothing to be afraid of’ (John MacMurray). The Scottish philosopher is warning us against superstitious security and pushing us towards Christian realism. God is always on our side fulfilling his promises rather than meeting our desires. Death will come someday and many small deaths and disappointments will happen first. According to the biblical image, God is like an eagle spreading out its wings protecting its young from falling as they learn to fly (Deut. 32:11). Faith is not a painkiller but a pain carrier”.


Fr Michael Paul Gallagher SJ from ‘Into Extra Time: Living Through the Final Stages of Cancer, 2016.