Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | June 4, 2010

Redemptive Suffering

The concept of redemptive suffering is at the crux of Christian ideology. Christ suffered for us so that we may be redeemed. We are encouraged to pick up our crosses of suffering and follow His Way, offering our suffering to Christ for our own redemption and the redemption of others.

(I’ve been praying the rosary again, and did a novena of rosaries asking for health and healing, particularly for my back pain which hasn’t gotten any better. Although I have not gotten the miracle cure, I’m cool with it and the usual caviat that all good things in God’s time. But the point is, I ran into a friend I haven’t see in a long time and I was saddened to see that she has been hit with some serious health issues and was really suffering. So, I asked Mary to forget about my personal intention and apply it for my friend, a selfless act that may have efficacy. I’ve also been offering up my personal suffering with my back and my clogged ears for this friend, so, we’ll see.)

In Buddhism, the great revelation of the buddha was that life is suffering and the way out of it is through correct action, thought, and so on. I’m not a buddhist scholar, so I won’t go on, but you know, the four noble truths, the eightfold path and so on.

In taoism, there is a recognition of the cyclic and coming and going of things. Sometimes life’s good, somethimes there is suffering. We develop wisdom to know how to behave under different circumstances, when to advance, when to retreat, when to be still as a mountain. When suffering, well, I guess a taoist just does what he can to alleviate the suffering as much as possible without grousing or blaming or trying to get the gods to fix it. Of course, in taoism, there is a recognition of chi, universal chi, and univesal energy that we can make use of for health and healing.

I intuitively believe that we can tap into a wellspring of energy and chi that can heal and maintain health. I also believe in the power of the mind and of thought, a very yogic and hindu concept of thought and thought vibration energy(I know this is vague). But, I don’t know, as prolific and ubiquitous and longstanding as these concepts are, as much as people claim, I don’t know if it’s really been tapped yet. The anecdotal evidence is somewhat there, but not definitive.

I feel called to the contemplative life, not only from the catholic perspective of placing myself in the real presence of the holy spirit, but also almost as a personal life experiment to plumb the depths of the mysteries of our existence, to see if, through mindfulness, meditation, tai chi practice, if I can heal myself, fix myself, balance my system, be in harmony with the Universal System. But to do this will take all my time and perhaps a life time. I want to do it. Someday, maybe I’ll be free to pursue it with more than just my spare time.

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