Word of the Month

Loving and suffering

October 2019

In the spectrum of human feelings and emotions, love and suffering constitute two opposing poles. On the one side, there is that euphoric sense of happiness which can unleash tremendous powers and vital spirits—and on the other side, there can be unhappiness and pain, which can cripple and take away all joy in life.  And yet, both have a common point of contact: love can be the cause of suffering, and suffering can be an expression of true love.

Two people who love one another will suffer if one of them is not feeling well. A Christian who loves his neighbour cannot bear to see his neighbour suffer. Since the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, this love for our neighbour also lives in us. On the one hand, this is something beautiful that enriches our lives, but on the other hand, it can also be associated with various sufferings. Because we love our neighbour, we cannot simply close our eyes when he suffers. We suffer along with him because we love him. And it is because we love him that we also try to help him. Often this can only take the form of prayer, but at other times, we might be able to help in very concrete terms. After all, love always finds a way.

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle