We live in a time when everyone's goal is to be perpetually healthy and constantly happy, and if any one of us fails to live up to the standards that are advertised as normative, we are labelled as a problem to be solved and a host of well-intentioned people rush to try out various cures on us. Or we are looked on as an enigma to be unravelled in which case we are subjected to endless discussions in which our lives are examined by zealous researchers for the clue that will account for our lack of health or happiness. Ivan Illich, in a recent interview, said: 'You know, there is an American myth that denies suffering and the sense of pain. It acts as if they should not be, and hence it devalues the experience of suffering.But this myth denies our encounter with reality.'
The gospel offers a different view of suffering: in suffering we enter the depths; we are at the heart of things; we are near to where Christ was on the cross.
-- p. 120-121, Life At Its Best, Eugene Peterson
I spoke too soon. I think I'll post up something about hope in the next one...