Monday, July 14, 2008

Longing to be Fed with the Crumbs

I heard the Bishop yesterday say that there are two passages in scripture that show the criteria for the Last Judgement: the story of Lazarus and the rich man and the story of the sheep and goats . He described the main criterion in both as the relief of human suffering. I asked if this included attentiveness to one's own suffering. He confirmed that it did, and pointed out the need for the loving sacrifice of allowing one's own suffering to relieve the suffering of others. I realized that attentiveness to the sufferings of others requires me to stay open to experiencing my own suffering. To be clear, this is not the same as seeking to suffer: there's already plenty already if I open myself to it. Rather, it's about how my avoiding the experience of my suffering, which leaves me cold to the suffering of others, leaves me cold to Jesus. This also reminds me of numerous authors who report that one finds the gospel of Jesus Christ when attending to the poor.

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