Thursday, January 14, 2010

The tears of one, the pain of three

Yesterday's contemplation about the pain of restraining homosexual desires led to another.

I wondered; can God experience pain?

The answer of course is yes, but only in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus wasn't fully human and fully divine only while walking the earth. He didn't lose His humanity after His ascension. He remains fully both.

The hypostatic union continues.

This is how and why the Eucharistic celebration, the sacrifice of the Lamb, the transformation of bread and wine into His body and blood is perpetually celebrated.

He is.

It is this humanity that cried at Lazarus' tomb. It is this humanity that cries at all the injustice of the world. And it is this humanity that sorrows over the separation that we have from Him.

Can God feel pain?

Yes. In the person of Christ.


Diane Marie Hall said...

In His relationship with us I belive he feels our pain and our emotions.I think he feels all we feel.Compare it to a human;true-love relationship.The closer you are the closer you are. One way he comes into a close,intimate union with us is through The Holy Spirit.HE lives within us. God desires a close intimate relationship with each of us. Every close true love relationship feels all... joy and pain from the other.Being inside is as close as you can get..beyond skin. Only Gods love is capable of going completely beyond all.When we love as God commands us to love..we also feel more.

Suzanne Marie DeWitt said...

Good point... He is always there, exposed to our emotion, participating in it, but at the same time being all love and without senses... Perhaps the He sends information to Jesus who helps Him understand what the emotion means...

Ike said...

The deepest pain, the greatest trouble in human life comes in the soul category. It comes in the category of relationships. The apostle Paul knew about shipwrecks and floggings and beatings with rods and narrow escapes from criminals and thieves. He knew about all kinds of terrors. He knew about pain, being put into stocks with his legs and arms stretched as far as they could and then being locked in stocks and left there for days with muscles knotted and aching. He knew about filthy stinking jails and foul food. He knew about tortures of all kinds. But beyond that was the agony of his soul in dealing with people...people who disappointed him, people who rejected him, people who turned against him, people who failed him, wounded him, betrayed him, misunderstood him, turned on him. And the more love he invested in them, the greater their potential to harm him. The deepest pain, the greatest trouble in human life apart from one's personal guilt is the pain that comes to us from our relationships, the pain that people inflict on us. No disease is as painful. Now you can die in peace as a believer with the worst disease, held up and surrounded by the loyal love, compassion, sympathy and care of those who love you, but to be healthy and whole and to be rejected, to be maligned, to be falsely accused, to be misrepresented, to be betrayed, to be hated...this wounds the soul.

So what's the end of it all? Paul goes to sadness to joy. "Most gladly..." I get it, Lord, I get it. It's about humility. It's about intimacy. It's about grace. It's about power. I embrace the suffering. I embrace the spear rammed through my otherwise proud flesh. I embrace the pain most gladly therefore I would rather boast about my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ's sake for when I am weak, then I am strong. That's the heart and soul of the Christian life. Not the assumption that, "Well, I don't know what's going on in my life, I'm a Christian, everything should be going right. And some people are telling me there are problems in my life and illness and disappointment and lack of success, it's because I don't have enough faith or I haven't found the right formula or I haven't figured out the right strategy or I haven't read the right book or gone to the right counsel or heard the right message. I could just kind of sort this deal out, I could extricate myself from all this stuff and get on living this gloriously successful life."
Nothing could be further from the truth when God really does His work in your life, He puts you in the place of pain and suffering. As Peter said, "After you've suffered a while, the Lord will make you perfect." And it's in the midst of that, that you find your real power and then you say with Paul, "I am well content with weaknesses and insults and distresses and persecutions, difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Embrace the pain. Embrace the suffering because you embrace the divine purpose.

Some words of a song go like this. "There burns a fire with sacred heat, white hot with holy flame. And all who dare pass through its flames will not emerge the same. Some as bronze and some as silver, some as gold then with great skill all are hammered by their sufferings on the anvil of His will. I'm learning now to trust His touch, to crave the fire's embrace, for though my past was sin was etched(???), His mercies did erase. Each time His purging cleanses deeper, I'm not sure that I'll survive. Yet the strength in growing weaker keeps my hungry soul alive." And the chorus, "The refiner's fire has now become my soul desire, purged and cleansed and purified that the Lord be glorified, He is consuming my soul, refining me, making me whole. No matter what I lose I choose the refiner's fire."

Nzie said...

I imagine God the Father felt great pain during Christ's passion.