Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Awful Grace of God

He who learns must suffer.
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget,
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our own will,
Comes wisdom to us, by the awful grace of God.
(Aeschylus, 525 - 456 BC)

Richard Rohr wrote this: Suffering opens the channel through which all of Life flows and by which all creation breathes, and I still do not know why. Yet it is somehow beautiful, even if it is a sad and tragic beauty.

I am less and less afraid of suffering. Of course, I am not actually in any serious suffering right now. And I also fear that writing those words will "tempt fate" - which of course I don't actually believe in. See how conflicted I am?

But somehow in my view of life I know that suffering must be abide with us, in large and small doses. Maybe it is that our level of tears must stay high enough that they can pour out over someone else's heart.

I am not suggesting that suffering in itself is noble. I just know that in the dark places we do gain wisdom, we do find our souls. I have no idea how it works.


Karla said...

So, so thankful that you write here. Also, I appreciate your candor in having no explanation for the mystery of suffering. It's still so helpful to describe it and talk about it even if we cannot find the explanation in the end.

Janet said...

Suffering: that from whence can flow the greatest of compassion, understanding, hope,and wisdom. It creates a bond between the participants. Suffering gives deep
meaning to all of life, while remaining yet unexplained.