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On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering: Salvifici Doloris

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Letter of Pope John Paul II on the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, 11 February 1984.


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Letter of Pope John Paul II on the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, 11 February 1984.

30 review for On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering: Salvifici Doloris

  1. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    Read this in a little over one sitting--mostly during Adoration. Excellent discussion of the Book of Job and why God consents to let Job be tested. An example of a favorite quote, 'Suffering must serve for conversion, that is, for the rebuilding of goodness in the subject, who can recognize the divine mercy in this call to repentance.' (p17) And... 'For suffering cannot be transformed and changed by the grace from outside, but from within. And... '...almost always the individual enters suffering Read this in a little over one sitting--mostly during Adoration. Excellent discussion of the Book of Job and why God consents to let Job be tested. An example of a favorite quote, 'Suffering must serve for conversion, that is, for the rebuilding of goodness in the subject, who can recognize the divine mercy in this call to repentance.' (p17) And... 'For suffering cannot be transformed and changed by the grace from outside, but from within. And... '...almost always the individual enters suffering with a typically human protest and with the question "why". He asks the meaning of his suffering and seeks an answer to this question on the human level.' (p46)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meg Prom

    “not all suffering is a consequence of a fault of goodness” In this brief meditation JPII introduces suffering as a creative process of love rather than just a trial to be endured. A good read if you want a different take on the problem of evil.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    On February 11, 1984, Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Letter entitled On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering. 30 years later, Pauline Books and Media issued an anniversary edition with commentary by Fr. Myles N. Sheehan. The actual letter is divided into the following sections: 1. Introduction 2. The World of Human Suffering 3. The Quest for an Answer to the Question of the Meaning of Suffering 4. Jesus Christ: Suffering Conquered by Love 5. Sharers in the Suffering of Christ 6. The Gospel On February 11, 1984, Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Letter entitled On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering. 30 years later, Pauline Books and Media issued an anniversary edition with commentary by Fr. Myles N. Sheehan. The actual letter is divided into the following sections: 1. Introduction 2. The World of Human Suffering 3. The Quest for an Answer to the Question of the Meaning of Suffering 4. Jesus Christ: Suffering Conquered by Love 5. Sharers in the Suffering of Christ 6. The Gospel of Suffering 7. The Good Samaritan 8. Conclusion Pope John Paul II begins by comparing and contrasting sickness and suffering. He explains, "Suffering is something which is still wider than sickness, more complex and at the same time still more deeply rooted in humanity itself." He then goes on to cite several examples of man suffering in Sacred Scripture. He then elaborates on how the reality of suffering is closely tied to "What is evil?" Section Four focuses on Jesus and His conversation with Nicodemus. God gave us His Son Jesus to provide us with a way of salvation. This salvation is not the opposite of temporal suffering, but eternal suffering by being separated from God in eternity. This hope of salvation "throws a new light upon suffering." The rest of this letter addresses how we can share in Christ's suffering and how we can help others in their suffering, like the good Samaritan. Like other anniversary editions of Pope John Paul II's words, this book contains the full text and reflection sections at the end of each part. These reflection sections include words to Ponder, a place to Pray, and guidance to Act on. Fr. Sheehan takes these sections very seriously though, not that other anniversary edition commentators didn't. Compared to other commentators, his Ponder sections are much longer and focus heavily on Scripture. He then concludes the Ponder section with both discussion and reflection questions. Also unlike other commentators, his Pray section isn't a personal prayer he wrote, but guidance on what to reflect and pray on. This Apostolic Letter is one that is still relevant 30 years later and the commentary on it is helpful when reading it. I highly recommend it, and I look forward to other Pope John Paul II anniversary editions that Pauline Books and Media will publish.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    This encyclical from a modern saint (and more so, a saint who suffered a great deal in his life) is a penetrating reflection on the meaning of suffering in Christianity. It also delves deeply into the Catholic understanding of redemptive suffering-that is, the suffering by Christ that redeems the world, as well as our place and privilege to unite ourselves to that suffering. Saint John Paul II's reflection essentially unpacks the meaning of St. Paul's desire to "make up in my flesh what is lacki This encyclical from a modern saint (and more so, a saint who suffered a great deal in his life) is a penetrating reflection on the meaning of suffering in Christianity. It also delves deeply into the Catholic understanding of redemptive suffering-that is, the suffering by Christ that redeems the world, as well as our place and privilege to unite ourselves to that suffering. Saint John Paul II's reflection essentially unpacks the meaning of St. Paul's desire to "make up in my flesh what is lacking in Christ's afflictions." (Colossians 1:24) The mystery behind St. Paul's words reveals the incredible grace that is available when one "offers up" or unites one's own suffering with that of the Redeemer. Highly recommended for Catholics interested in theology, as well as for anyone who has ever wondered if there is any meaning in the pain and evil we experience in an otherwise good world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

    JPII offers some really great insights and thorough Biblical commentary, especially on St. Paul, however, I have only one gripe....I felt during the entire time of reading it that I was going to learn some great secret, or have some new articulation of what it is that Christian's believe, but really the most original thesis comes at the beginning of the book and the rest of the book is outlining this thesis- that as Christians our sufferings participate in Christ's suffering, no longer is our su JPII offers some really great insights and thorough Biblical commentary, especially on St. Paul, however, I have only one gripe....I felt during the entire time of reading it that I was going to learn some great secret, or have some new articulation of what it is that Christian's believe, but really the most original thesis comes at the beginning of the book and the rest of the book is outlining this thesis- that as Christians our sufferings participate in Christ's suffering, no longer is our suffering useless but is somehow made part of the world's redemption

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    My only frustration while reading this Apostolic Letter was that I hadn’t read it sooner! Thirty-six years later and this short work on the redemptive dimension of human suffering remains fresh and insightful, especially in our times marked by avoiding suffering at all costs. Through the cross of Christ, death and suffering are ‘redemptively’ transformed. This letter reveals new depths of the mystery of suffering and it’s victorious power in Christ, through His cross and resurrection.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alanna Truong

    This is my third time reading this particular letter, and it still reads like the first time. Every line says something, but it's hard to digest all at once. I still feel like JPII reads like poetry, in some ways. It's a beautiful experience, and the more I read of his, the easier it is to understand his writing. This is my third time reading this particular letter, and it still reads like the first time. Every line says something, but it's hard to digest all at once. I still feel like JPII reads like poetry, in some ways. It's a beautiful experience, and the more I read of his, the easier it is to understand his writing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Not as readable as I’d hoped, considering this is really a fundamental aspect of Catholic theology, but very rich and worth the effort. (I downloaded the pdf from the Vatican website and read it on my Kindle, and the formatting didn’t work very well, so that contributed to it feeling a bit impenetrable in places).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Quesnelle

    Really helped me grasp the theology around suffering and the concept of "offering it up" both are things I've never really dived into. This provided a succinct, yet in depth, explanation that I greatly appreciated. Really helped me grasp the theology around suffering and the concept of "offering it up" both are things I've never really dived into. This provided a succinct, yet in depth, explanation that I greatly appreciated.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peace&Love

    I shall never suffer again because I will never boast of anything except of being on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Puskarich

    Absolutely beautiful thoughts on the meaning of and salvific, redemptive nature of suffering. Parts moved me to literal tears.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Camilo Navarrete

    Con un discurso vigente y actual, san Juan Pablo II describe el sentido y razón del dolir, el sufrimiento y la muerte. Muy valioso para entender el acto trascendental del dolor.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lilly Pittman

    Excellently and clearly written. Thought provoking. Can suffering be redeemed? Is suffering redemptive in and of itself? You'll ask these questions and more. Excellently and clearly written. Thought provoking. Can suffering be redeemed? Is suffering redemptive in and of itself? You'll ask these questions and more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Moellering

    Fantastic and timely, even 37 years later. I will be returning to this one repeatedly.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily Schaefer

    Simply one of the most beautiful things I have ever read! But it is not a simple question, and there is no simple answer.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Life is full of ups and downs but in the midst of them there's always a loving God waiting for your unconditional surrender to his plans for your life. You can rebel against or cooperate with them but the bottom line is that you can't remain immobile, unchanged. There are days when I feel overwhelmed and giving up sounds like the most logical solution but the truth is my circumstance while individual aren't unique. Through the ages, people have struggle to make sense of their suffering so we're Life is full of ups and downs but in the midst of them there's always a loving God waiting for your unconditional surrender to his plans for your life. You can rebel against or cooperate with them but the bottom line is that you can't remain immobile, unchanged. There are days when I feel overwhelmed and giving up sounds like the most logical solution but the truth is my circumstance while individual aren't unique. Through the ages, people have struggle to make sense of their suffering so we're not the exception to the rule. Like Nana will say "offer it up".

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Kelly

    I'm still reading this one. It's something to really meditate on. It's fruits include a better understanding not only of the meaning of our suffering, but how we can make use of it for the betterment of our own Hope and Faith and Salvation as well as tying our suffering to Christ's and how powerful that really is in a very secularized America. Somewhat difficult to read. I'm still reading this one. It's something to really meditate on. It's fruits include a better understanding not only of the meaning of our suffering, but how we can make use of it for the betterment of our own Hope and Faith and Salvation as well as tying our suffering to Christ's and how powerful that really is in a very secularized America. Somewhat difficult to read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Dion

    Very beautiful and deep reflection on the meaning of suffering in the human experience, written by someone who had plenty of firsthand knowledge on the subject. This text is available for free on the vatican website.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claire Gilligan

    A lovely spiritual reflection on suffering (with some theological meditation thrown in). Easier to read than most of JPII, even if not immediately relevant to me (because I'd already been doing the things suggested)! Definitely glad I finally read it. A lovely spiritual reflection on suffering (with some theological meditation thrown in). Easier to read than most of JPII, even if not immediately relevant to me (because I'd already been doing the things suggested)! Definitely glad I finally read it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This was a great little read regarding the meaning of suffering. Something we all tend to wrestle with from time to time. At only 56 pages, this is a perfect stand-by for those rough patches in life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Truly one of the most excellent works on the mystery that is human suffering.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter Cram

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brock

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angelica Nguyen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steven Shlapak

  26. 4 out of 5

    Patti

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Noffke

  29. 4 out of 5

    R

  30. 4 out of 5

    María

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