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Some people suffer even more than Jesus did

Discussion in 'The Lord's Table - Liberal Catholics' started by Godlovesmetwo, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Godlovesmetwo

    Godlovesmetwo Fringe Catholic

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    I feel like a heretic suggesting this. But some people really do suffer torment for much of their life whether it be psychological, emotional or physical. People in war-torn countries being a prime example.
    I just wonder how I would feel about Jesus Christ and Christianity if my suffering was so huge. Would such suffering strengthen my faith or shatter it?
     
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  2. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc Well-Known Member

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    Yes, some people suffer and have suffered more than Christ, but the point is that Christ was God's Son, He was perfect, sinless, didn't deserve to suffer and offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Also, the righteous people who suffer on this Earth will be rewarded in the afterlife.
     
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  3. alsughasoughaiuyfygh

    alsughasoughaiuyfygh Well-Known Member Supporter

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    On one side of the coin, it made me realize that this world is a pile of crap and that Heaven is a better option. The Bible has said to not get too attached to the world because of how poorly it is ran by us fallible men and women. Looking at this world, I just feel disgust, anger, and hatred for much of it because it's a world where might makes right and arrogance instead of compassion is a natural reaction for having it so good compared to others.

    On the other side, however, it made me resent God for not giving me the talents, blessings, and opportunities that other take for granted. Why is it that my arrogant and selfish sister gets all the good things in life thanks to the talents God gave her while I have to suffer constantly because of the disability that God failed to prevent?

    My disabilities and suffering resulting from it is the reason why I have a love/hate relationship with God. Both the good and the bad can make or break a person. Losing a child can mentally screw you up enough to turn your back on God as a way of rationalizing why it had to happen to you. Fame, on the other hand, while awesome at first can also give you crazy amounts of stress, pressure, and lack of privacy. Lots of celebrities end up being drug addicts or have their mental breakdowns recorded by paparazzi's looking to make a good buck.

    Just keep an eternal view in mind. Eventually all your suffering will be compensated appropriately and that one person whom the world gave up on with contempt will end up being one of the most desirable out of all of us.

    "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18

    "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." ~Matthew 19:27-30

    "But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." ~Luke 12:48
     
  4. Friend-of-Jesus

    Friend-of-Jesus Well-Known Member

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    In our human measure, you're absolutely right. But we can never even begin to try and imagine the amount of pain and suffering to Jesus, considering the fact He was God almighty Himself. He could have said "poof" and earth turned into dust.
     
  5. nonaeroterraqueous

    nonaeroterraqueous Nonexistent Member

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    (oops, I managed to get into the wrong forum again)
     
  6. Bluerose31

    Bluerose31 Christian Flower Supporter

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    This is a good point you bring up. I feel that people who suffered more than Christ can still love Christ because he did suffer something horrible on the cross and the suffering person can relate to it.
     
  7. tryintogrow

    tryintogrow ContraryTwit

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    First of all, this is assuming that Calvary was His only major struggle. That's the only one we publicly know about. He was alive in human form for over 30 years, most of which are undocumented. Just because He never talked about His problems doesn't mean they weren't there. Actually we have no record of Him complaining about the pain of Calvary.

    Second, there is good reason to believe that He felt a certain cost for people's healings. He said that He felt virtue leave His body when the bloody woman touched His clothes. We see Him crying with Mary and Martha at Lazarus' tomb. I believe that He absolutely did feel a person's pain when He touched them.

    Third, we see in Scripture that the enemy left Him "for a time" after the temptation. He did not take keys from death and hell without a fight.

    Lastly, Hebrews said He was tempted on "every point" in the human experience. That would have to include the temptation to give up. Either Hebrews is right that He knows all our pain, or it isn't.
     
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  8. tryintogrow

    tryintogrow ContraryTwit

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    Let me just add this as well.

    We tend to overlook the way He was treated on Earth. He was accused of terrorism against His government. He was accused of being a devil worshipper, a charlatan, mentally unstable, etc. His followers were banished from the temple during His career. He told one person that foxes have holes but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head. He was often homeless, hiding in the woods or in someone's attic, banished from cities, hunted for arrest, and betrayed by His best friends. We truly don't know how intense those three years were.
     
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  9. tryintogrow

    tryintogrow ContraryTwit

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    One more thing: we have good reason to believe that the fourth man in the fire (Daniel 3) was Jesus. Don't discount other possible moments when He faced the same danger He asked of humans.
     
  10. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member

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    SUMMA THEOLOGIAE: The passion of Christ (Tertia Pars, Q. 46)

    Article 6. Whether the pain of Christ's Passion was greater than all other pains?

    Objection 1. It would seem that the pain of Christ's Passion was not greater than all other pains. For the sufferer's pain is increased by the sharpness and the duration of the suffering. But some of the martyrs endured sharper and more prolonged pains than Christ, as is seen in St. Lawrence, who was roasted upon a gridiron; and in St. Vincent, whose flesh was torn with iron pincers. Therefore it seems that the pain of the suffering Christ was not the greatest.

    Objection 2. Further, strength of soul mitigates pain, so much so that the Stoics held there was no sadness in the soul of a wise man; and Aristotle (Ethic. ii) holds that moral virtue fixes the mean in the passions. But Christ had most perfect strength of soul. Therefore it seems that the greatest pain did not exist in Christ.

    Objection 3. Further, the more sensitive the sufferer is, the more acute will the pain be. But the soul is more sensitive than the body, since the body feels in virtue of the soul; also, Adam in the state of innocence seems to have had a body more sensitive than Christ had, who assumed a human body with its natural defects. Consequently, it seems that the pain of a sufferer in purgatory, or in hell, or even Adam's pain, if he suffered at all, was greater than Christ's in the Passion.

    Objection 4. Further, the greater the good lost, the greater the pain. But by sinning the sinner loses a greater good than Christ did when suffering; since the life of grace is greater than the life of nature: also, Christ, who lost His life, but was to rise again after three days, seems to have lost less than those who lose their lives and abide in death. Therefore it seems that Christ's pain was not the greatest of all.

    Objection 5. Further, the victim's innocence lessens the sting of his sufferings. But Christ died innocent, according to Jeremiah 9:19: "I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim." Therefore it seems that the pain of Christ's Passion was not the greatest.

    Objection 6. Further, there was nothing superfluous in Christ's conduct. But the slightest pain would have sufficed to secure man's salvation, because from His Divine Person it would have had infinite virtue. Therefore it would have been superfluous to choose the greatest of all pains.

    On the contrary, It is written (Lamentations 1:12) on behalf of Christ's Person: "O all ye that pass by the way attend, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow."

    I answer that, As we have stated, when treating of the defects assumed by Christ (III:15:6), there was true and sensible pain in the suffering Christ, which is caused by something hurtful to the body: also, there was internal pain, which is caused from the apprehension of something hurtful, and this is termed "sadness." And in Christ each of these was the greatest in this present life. This arose from four causes.

    First of all, from the sources of His pain. For the cause of the sensitive pain was the wounding of His body; and this wounding had its bitterness, both from the extent of the suffering already mentioned ([5]) and from the kind of suffering, since the death of the crucified is most bitter, because they are pierced in nervous and highly sensitive parts--to wit, the hands and feet; moreover, the weight of the suspended body intensifies the agony. And besides this there is the duration of the suffering because they do not die at once like those slain by the sword. The cause of the interior pain was, first of all, all the sins of the human race, for which He made satisfaction by suffering; hence He ascribes them, so to speak, to Himself, saying (Psalm 21:2): "The words of my sins."

    Secondly, especially the fall of the Jews and of the others who sinned in His death chiefly of the apostles, who were scandalized at His Passion. Thirdly, the loss of His bodily life, which is naturally horrible to human nature.

    The magnitude of His suffering may be considered, secondly, from the susceptibility of the sufferer as to both soul and body. For His body was endowed with a most perfect constitution, since it was fashioned miraculously by the operation of the Holy Ghost; just as some other things made by miracles are better than others, as Chrysostom says (Hom. xxii in Joan.) respecting the wine into which Christ changed the water at the wedding-feast. And, consequently, Christ's sense of touch, the sensitiveness of which is the reason for our feeling pain, was most acute. His soul likewise, from its interior powers, apprehended most vehemently all the causes of sadness.

    Thirdly, the magnitude of Christ's suffering can be estimated from the singleness of His pain and sadness. In other sufferers the interior sadness is mitigated, and even the exterior suffering, from some consideration of reason, by some derivation or redundance from the higher powers into the lower; but it was not so with the suffering Christ, because "He permitted each one of His powers to exercise its proper function," as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii).

    Fourthly, the magnitude of the pain of Christ's suffering can be reckoned by this, that the pain and sorrow were accepted voluntarily, to the end of men's deliverance from sin; and consequently He embraced the amount of pain proportionate to the magnitude of the fruit which resulted therefrom.

    From all these causes weighed together, it follows that Christ's pain was the very greatest.

    Reply to Objection 1. This argument follows from only one of the considerations adduced--namely, from the bodily injury, which is the cause of sensitive pain; but the torment of the suffering Christ is much more intensified from other causes, as above stated.

    Reply to Objection 2. Moral virtue lessens interior sadness in one way, and outward sensitive pain in quite another; for it lessens interior sadness directly by fixing the mean, as being its proper matter, within limits. But, as was laid down in I-II:64:2, moral virtue fixes the mean in the passions, not according to mathematical quantity, but according to quantity of proportion, so that the passion shall not go beyond the rule of reason. And since the Stoics held all sadness to be unprofitable, they accordingly believed it to be altogether discordant with reason, and consequently to be shunned altogether by a wise man. But in very truth some sadness is praiseworthy, as Augustine proves (De Civ. Dei xiv)--namely, when it flows from holy love, as, for instance, when a man is saddened over his own or others' sins. Furthermore, it is employed as a useful means of satisfying for sins, according to the saying of the Apostle (2 Corinthians 7:10): "The sorrow that is according to God worketh penance, steadfast unto salvation." And so to atone for the sins of all men, Christ accepted sadness, the greatest in absolute quantity, yet not exceeding the rule of reason. But moral virtue does not lessen outward sensitive pain, because such pain is not subject to reason, but follows the nature of the body; yet it lessens it indirectly by redundance of the higher powers into the lower. But this did not happen in Christ's case, as stated above (cf. 14, 1, ad 2; III:45:2).

    Reply to Objection 3. The pain of a suffering, separated soul belongs to the state of future condemnation, which exceeds every evil of this life, just as the glory of the saints surpasses every good of the present life. Accordingly, when we say that Christ's pain was the greatest, we make no comparison between His and the pain of a separated soul. But Adam's body could not suffer, except he sinned. so that he would become mortal, and passible. And, though actually suffering, it would have felt less pain than Christ's body, for the reasons already stated. From all this it is clear that even if by impassibility Adam had suffered in the state of innocence, his pain would have been less than Christ's.

    Reply to Objection 4. Christ grieved not only over the loss of His own bodily life, but also over the sins of all others. And this grief in Christ surpassed all grief of every contrite heart, both because it flowed from a greater wisdom and charity, by which the pang of contrition is intensified, and because He grieved at the one time for all sins, according to Isaiah 53:4: "Surely He hath carried our sorrows." But such was the dignity of Christ's life in the body, especially on account of the Godhead united with it, that its loss, even for one hour, would be a matter of greater grief than the loss of another man's life for howsoever long a time. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii) that the man of virtue loves his life all the more in proportion as he knows it to be better; and yet he exposes it for virtue's sake. And in like fashion Christ laid down His most beloved life for the good of charity, according to Jeremiah 12:7: "I have given My dear soul into the hands of her enemies."

    Reply to Objection 5. The sufferer's innocence does lessen numerically the pain of the suffering, since, when a guilty man suffers, he grieves not merely on account of the penalty, but also because of the crime. whereas the innocent man grieves only for the penalty: yet this pain is more intensified by reason of his innocence, in so far as he deems the hurt inflicted to be the more undeserved. Hence it is that even others are more deserving of blame if they do not compassionate him. according to Isaiah 57:1: "The just perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart."

    Reply to Objection 6. Christ willed to deliver the human race from sins not merely by His power, but also according to justice. And therefore He did not simply weigh what great virtue His suffering would have from union with the Godhead, but also how much, according to His human nature, His pain would avail for so great a satisfaction.
     
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  11. JackRT

    JackRT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Aquinas certainly has some odd ideas
     
  12. tryintogrow

    tryintogrow ContraryTwit

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    His ideas are quite practical with a little retooling for the modern audience.
     
  13. Godlovesmetwo

    Godlovesmetwo Fringe Catholic

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    That's a useful phrase. Do you have copyright on that? I might use it . :)
     
  14. alsughasoughaiuyfygh

    alsughasoughaiuyfygh Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can't copyright godly advice. ;)
     
  15. Godlovesmetwo

    Godlovesmetwo Fringe Catholic

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    Jesus is the yardstick/benchmark for pain and suffering then?
    As you and others have said , the point is He didn't deserve it. He was/is God.
     
  16. Godlovesmetwo

    Godlovesmetwo Fringe Catholic

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    Someone actually read Summa Theologiae? Well done!
     
  17. Godlovesmetwo

    Godlovesmetwo Fringe Catholic

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    Which makes me realise how much energy I waste on, just worry and anxiety. If someone told me I was going to be crucified tomorrow, I'd die of stress before the time.
     
  18. Friend-of-Jesus

    Friend-of-Jesus Well-Known Member

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    No. Not that He didn't deserve it. It was His decision. Just that we can't measure suffering and pain of infinite God. We can't feel what God feels. It really is out of question. If we could feel even a small fraction of It, it would be like enduring the epicentre of a nuclear explosion while staying alive...
     
  19. Godlovesmetwo

    Godlovesmetwo Fringe Catholic

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    But I get this guilt trip put on me and others do too:
    "You know how much Jesus suffered for you? For your sins!" I'm not sure putting such emphasis on that really helps people have more faith. Better to focus on the depth of God's love than the debt we owe Jesus.
     
  20. Friend-of-Jesus

    Friend-of-Jesus Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100%. He suffered a lot. But it was God's decision even before we were born. If anything, His grace should generate deep gratitude to Him for not holding us accountable for our own stupidity.
     
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