An understanding of human suffering

New Testament writers directly quote Job twice Rom. The book does not name its author. One Talmudic tradition suggests Moses as author since the land of Uz 1: Solomon is also a good possibility due to the similarity of content with parts of the book of Ecclesiastes, as well as the fact that Solomon wrote the other Wisdom books except Psalms, and he did author Psalms 72 and

An understanding of human suffering

Aug 9th, By Bryan Cross Category: Blog Posts If God is all powerful, and truly seeks our good, then why does He allow bad things to happen to people?

Why does God allow all the suffering we experience in this life, if He loves us and is all-powerful and all-knowing? What does the Catholic Church say about the meaning of suffering? Job and his Wife c.

An understanding of human suffering

But God loves us infinitely more than we love each other. Therefore we know that God wants us to have what is good for us, what truly makes us happy. But that is just what makes the sufferings of this present life so odd, perplexing, even apparently contradictory.

If God is all powerful, and truly seeks our good, then why does He allow all the suffering we experience in this life? Recently a young man I know survived a plane crash.

Upon hearing the news, some of us responded by thanking God that he survived. Another person responded to our thanksgiving by objecting that if God existed, He would have prevented the plane crash.

Obviously there cannot be a good God, argues the atheist, because if God existed, He would not allow such meaningless, pointless evil and suffering to occur.

The common hidden assumption is that if we cannot see for ourselves any justifying reason, then either there cannot be any such reason, or it is not reasonable to believe that there is such a reason. In other words, the objection presupposes that a Being infinitely greater than ourselves either does not exist or has not revealed His goodness and love to us, An understanding of human suffering in that respect the objection assumes precisely what it is trying to show.

It follows from atheism that suffering, tragedy, and loss are ultimately meaningless and pointless, and hence to be avoided at all costs unless some outweighing good can be anticipated. And that is precisely why in the atheistic philosophy, if we find ourselves or others suffering without the foreseeable possibility of coming to a quality of life that outweighs this suffering, it is better to end that life, all other things being equal.

But that is not the Christian understanding of suffering. The Origin of Evil and Suffering As with most theological questions, we need to go back to the beginning.

God made all things such that they were in harmony, as the Catechism explains: The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ.

As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die. By the original justice God gave to our first parents, they were able to remain in these ordered harmonies. The lower powers of their soul were held subject to their reason, without any disorder whatsoever.

Even their bodies were entirely subject to their soul, without any bodily defect. In this state, man did not have to suffer or die. God did not design man to be in a condition of suffering or death. Man sinned, and by doing so forfeited the four-fold harmony by which he was protected from suffering and death.

It is still a good world — that is how we are able to recognize the resulting disharmony, against the background of the goodness and natural order of creation — but there is now disharmony in our world, a disharmony that God did not put here.

The teaching of the Catholic Church is quite different from that of the atheists with regard to the origin of suffering. For the materialist atheists, nature is ultimately impersonal, indifferent and apathetic; suffering just is.

We do not like suffering, but ultimately, suffering is neither evil or good, because ultimately there is no good or evil; there is just matter and energy and the fundamental laws of physics. Some suffering is the result of the actions of other people, but much suffering is simply gratuitous, pointless, and outside the bounds of human control.

For Christians, by contrast, the Creator of all things is a perfectly good, perfectly just, 14 and perfectly loving Father. Suffering and death, and all the evils we experience in this life, have their origin in human sin against God our Father.

The Purposes of Suffering While the atheist thinks his suffering is ultimately meaningless and pointless, the Christian believes that no suffering is ultimately meaningless or pointless.

Because we believe that a loving God is providentially orchestrating all things, in a way that upholds our freedom. For that reason we believe that when God allows us to suffer, He is doing so to protect us from a greater evil, or to lift us to a far greater and outweighing good.The truth of the cause of suffering is the second aspect, or second component of the nature of human suffering that the Buddha taught.

This is essentially understanding that the cause of suffering doesn’t necessarily lie in the events or the circumstances, but in the way that we perceive and interpret our experience as it unfolds. “What does all of this mean”: Job speaks of foundational themes every human being contends with, especially in times of suffering.

“God’s Character”: The book of Job defends the character of a loving and righteous God in spite of earth’s obvious evils and injustices. This allows Christians to face reality of human experience with suffering and find an understanding in the divine. Hinduism and Christianity embrace similar aspects in suffering.

Both religions realize the need for God as well as the moral significance for God that suffering provides. Involuntary suffering is the natural pain that every one of us experiences as a result of being human.

An understanding of human suffering

Involuntary suffering is the pain that comes with being sick and having our bodies give out on us, from the separation or death of a loved one, or an unexpected job loss. . The Buddha structured his teaching in terms of a medical practice.

First, he diagnosed that there was a problem, and second, identified the underlying causes of that problem, then determined the prognosis and ultimately prescribed a course of treatment. Those are the four aspects of the understanding of the nature of human suffering.

Understanding Suffering Christian or not, suffering remains an inevitable result of living in this world. Human beings often find themselves asking “why?” any time they encounter a terminal illness, a child with birth defects, unjust imprisonment, or any other such tragedy.

Book of Job explained