Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Suffering is the price we pay for happiness

Rev Allen Sleith (Saturday Review, March 23) asks a question that is repeatedly asked by various clergy in your columns when inquiring what they would say to God: why is there so much suffering in our world?

To me, suffering can be interpreted as a sign that there is a God and that God wants us to be just like He is often described – caring, compassionate and loving.

In my view, we simply would not know how to care, how to be compassionate and how to be loving if we had no awareness of suffering. The reality is that everyone suffers in some way.

Indeed, we would become shallow if we had no awareness of suffering. We would lose empathy for other people.

Suffering is not, therefore, a punishment from God. It is simply the means by which we bond together as human beings.

So suffering is essential to God's plan. Modern medicine may fight all it likes against this suffering. But it is the price we pay for happiness in our lives.

JOHN O'CONNELL

Derry

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