Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"A little while, and now you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father" (John 16:16)

In this passage, Lord Jesus advice us to endure with humility and patience everyday difficulties, for they would last only for a moment - after that will be eternal happiness with the Father in Heaven! Sounds like an old song about suffering. Many people bridle up in suffering. Others cannot understand what suffering really is and say with Job: "My soul is weary of my life" (Job 10:1). But the question still comes out of suffering hearts: "Why, what for, from where suffering comes?" Both ancient and very modern philosophical doctrines proclaim: "commit yourself to amusement and crush any suffering in pleasure!". Wonderful, but not true really and not that simple. Why then so many suicides in the midst of all world's pleasures, joys and entertainments? Stoics had developed a simple philosophy: "Suffering can be overcome by a strong spirit". Is that always true? Far from it! And what if someone has not particularly strong spirit? Muslim will say: "Fatum! Endure suffering, for there is no other choice". Not a big consolation and no merit at all. Schopenhauer, committed atheist and other pessimists claim the world is evil. Then all we need to do is to overcome evil by life full of pleasure and joy or to seek salvation in self-annihiltion. Pathetic doctrine. Other philosopher, Nietzsche, says the only remedy for suffering is a cold and indifferent heart and deliberate suppression of compassion impulses, in other words, superior race of human beings so much different from ordinary, weak and ill people. This is philosophy of exploitation and the morality of superior race make things much worse and bitter. What is the lesson from this? Both ancient and modern paganism cannot give us even partially satisfactory answer on suffering, on its origin and purpose. And certainly cannot give any consolation. Only Christianity can give real answer. Holy Scriptures says to us and to the whole world:"Dearly beloved, think not strange the burning heat which is to try you, as if some new thing happened to you; But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy" (1 Pet:12-13)