Apr 03, 2023

4.3.23   Most of all in this life, we don’t want to suffer. We don’t want pain, or interruptions to our plans or anything to come to us that is not on our agendas. We Americans are experts at not accepting anything that creates suffering in us and complaining about the least little thing that […]

Blessed Are They Who Mourn

Mar 22, 2021

Jesus is very clear about grief in the second Beatitude: those who mourn will be comforted. [Matthew 5:4] Unexpressed grief, sorrow, pain and suffering keeps us tied to the past and unable to be present in our lives or present to God. Mostly what happens is that anger at the injustice, the pain we have […]

Suffering and the Wilderness

Jul 30, 2018

  Life can throw us curve balls. Suffering can come upon us suddenly. We can lose our job. Get sick. A dear one can die. A hurricane can destroy all that we own. And more. With each time of suffering we are thrown into the wilderness, into a place of transition and seeming danger where […]

Rethinking Suffering

Aug 07, 2017

Pain and suffering are greatly misunderstood in this world.  It is part of our existence, in both the plant and animal kingdoms, that things can happen that maim or hurt or try us, that can cause us great suffering, illness and even death. We choose to see the pain as unnecessary, as totally preventable; so […]

Redemption in Suffering

Nov 21, 2016

  The time between the mother’s diagnosis of cancer and her death was just about a year, a year that Alyssa Monks, an artist, spent in taking care of her mother. And this is what she learned from this experience: “We’re all going to have big losses in our lives…They bring us to our knees…So […]

Dealing with Pain and Suffering

Mar 27, 2016

If we come upon a stump of a tree or a felled tree, we can see the rings which tell the story of the tree’s growth. The lighter rings are laid down in the spring when there is plenty of water and the darker ones laid down in the summer and even early autumn. The […]

Two kinds of compassion

Feb 09, 2015

There are two ways to be compassionate. From a cultural viewpoint compassion is caring about another person. It might be being with someone who is grieving and helping them through it. It might be feeding the homeless. Or visiting someone who is sick. It often comes with pity attached, feeling sorry for the other person, […]


Mar 31, 2014

For a while my son-in-law owned a trailer park in Florida. He said that inevitably each month at least one of his tenants would come in to pay off part of another’s rent for that month. The reason: “He’s short this month,” or “she needs some help.” People who work with the poor would say […]