On Suffering

Someone once asked C.S. Lewis, “Why do the righteous suffer?”

“Why not?” he replied. “They’re the only ones who can take it.”

Our gospel reading this Sunday (Matthew 16:21-28) is the story of Peter denying the fact that Jesus had to go to Jerusalem and suffer and die for God’s purpose, in him and for us, to be fulfilled (forgiveness of sin and new & eternal life for us).  Like Peter we too want to deny the facts of suffering, and often we hear the question, “Why do good people have tosuffer?”  Perhaps we should instead ask, “Is suffering a fact of faith or is faith a response to the fact of suffering?”

I’ve found this story about the founders of our Christian Creeds of Faith incredibly interesting:

At the Nicene Council (an important church meeting in the 4th century A.D. at which our Nicene Creed was written), of the 318 delegates attending, fewer than 12 had not lost an eye or lost a hand or did not limp on a leg lamed by torture for their Christian faith.

Suffering as fact of faith, or faith as fact of suffering?

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