Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Learn,Pain, Suffering,

We  learn forever  Or we can. And whoever learns, suffers.  Because if we learn, we have to change. If we learn we change, if we change we suffer.   It is only through pain and suffering, it seems, that we can understand and get to know God as an incarnate being.  It is by working to avoid pain and suffering that we negate the incarnation’s power in our lives and in our world, and feed evil. At least that’s how I see it. That is not to say that we need to go looking for pain and suffering! Those two elements of human existence make their appearance on their own and without appointment.
If the Word of God did indeed become flesh to dwell among us, then it is in our flesh that God’s presence is found. “Look for God among the living”, the women who arrived first at the tomb on Easter Sunday were told. In other words, don’t look for a Supreme Being outside of the human condition.  The Supreme Being is the human condition, made perfect. So look there.  God is with us.
And what do we see when we look there? Good, and also evil. Good is the result of people living out the Supreme Being within. Evil is not just the denial of Gods presence within us.  It is also the denial that God—Love, the being or force or energy that creates, is begotten and proceeds– is present and alive and involved in every act of creation.
If I ignore the divine presence within anyone, I will disregard, humiliate, look down on, ignore, be unforgiving toward, hold a grudge against them and/or rush to judgment, use, and/or abuse them. In negating the divine presence, I give evil power and dominion. I limit God’s presence and action in the world, because I am not manifesting that presence. Nor am I acknowledging that presence in  others.
So, what to do? Live God, love God– it’s the same thing! That’s what faith is—living the God-life within us, trusting that God is present in all sets of creation’s circumstances. Quite a paradox: we suffer because there is evil; we destroy evil by suffering, even to the point of death, death on a cross We refuse to dehumanize our enemies.
If we repress, avoid, go outside of or around our suffering looking for relief, we fail. If we go through it, we find and participate in God’s own life, which is eternal.
The only way out is through. At least, that’s been my experience.  Yours too?


  1. Hi Father,

    I'm trying to reach you about your leaving St. Andre. Can you call me at 503.956.1097 if you get this?

    Andrea Damewood

  2. Father -- I'm writing a story for Wednesday about the audit. if you get this, please call me: 503.445.1538

  3. yes, mine too. Although some days I really don't want to go through it, but God has a way of redirecting you to where you need to be, if you allow him to lead you. matt crichton