The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Monday, September 9, 2013

The Value of Suffering -

But does that change all the many times when suffering leaves us with no seeming benefit at all, and only a resentment of those who tell us to look on the bright side and count our blessings and recall that time heals all wounds (when we know it doesn’t)? None of us expects life to be easy; Job merely wants an explanation for his constant unease. To live, as Nietzsche (and Roberta Flack) had it, is to suffer; to survive is to make sense of the suffering.


Appropriately for the NY Times, this is mostly about how to bear the suffering of other people. Yet that's the only type of suffering that's easy to bear. Everybody has their own way to bear suffering. Oddly, it's something age seems much better at than youth. The Buddhists really do know something about it; there is much to learn from them on that score. And the Stoics. But to live is to suffer. You can't eliminate suffering unless you trust to luck and even that eventually runs out. Just a little nugget of wisdom to start out your day.

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The Catholic Church has long seen suffering as part of joining in Christ's redemptive suffering.

Think of all the saints who actively sought suffering, or those who shared St. Faustina's vision: “If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering.”

Posted by: Lydia | Sep 9, 2013 2:18:50 PM

"age seems much better at than youth": it bloody needs to be.

Posted by: dearieme | Sep 9, 2013 5:41:44 PM