"It can be said that man suffers whenever he experiences any kind of evil. In the vocabulary of the Old Testament, suffering and evil are identified with each other. In fact, that vocabulary did not have a specific word to indicate 'suffering.' Thus it defined as 'evil' everything that was suffering. Only the Greek language, and together with it the New Testament (and the Greek translations of the Old Testament), use the verb '[Greek word; not possible to reproduce here]'--'I am affected by..., I experience a feeling, I suffer'; and, thanks to this verb, suffering is no longer directly identifiable with (objective) evil, but expresses a situation in which man experiences evil and in doing so becomes the subject of suffering. Suffering has indeed both a subjective and a passive character (from 'patior'). Even when man brings suffering on himself, when he is its cause, this suffering remains something passive in its metaphysical essence. This does not mean however that suffering in the psychological sense is not marked by a specific 'activity.'This is in fact that multiple and subjectively differentiated 'activity' of pain, sadness, disappointment, discouragement or even despair, according to the intensity of the suffering subject and his or her specific sensitivity. In the midst of what constitutes the psychological form of suffering there is always an experience of evil, which causes the individual to suffer.
Thus the reality of suffering prompts the question about the essence of evil: What is evil?
This question seems, in a certain sense, inseparable from the theme of suffering. The Christian response to it is different, for example, from the one given by certain cultural and religious traditions which hold that existence is an evil from which one needs to be liberated.
Christianity proclaims the essential good of existence and the good of that which exists, acknowledges the goodness of the Creator and proclaims the good of creatures. Man suffers on account of evil, which is a certain lack, limitation or distortion of good. We could say that man suffers because of a good in which he does not share, from which in a certain sense he is cut off, or of which he has deprived himself. He particularly suffers when he 'ought'--in the normal order of things--to have a share in this good, and does not have it.
Thus, in the Christian view, the reality of suffering is explained through evil, which always, in some way, refers to a good.
8. In itself human suffering constitutes as it were a specific 'world' which exists together with man, which appears in him and passes, and sometimes does not pass, but which consolidates itself and becomes deeply rooted in him. This world of suffering, divided into many, very many subjects, exists as it were 'in dispersion.' Every individual, through personal suffering, constitutes not only a small part of that 'world,' but at the same time that world is present in him as a finite and unrepeatable entity. Parallel with this, however, is the interhuman and social dimension. The world of suffering possesses as it were its own solidarity. People who suffer become similar to one another through the analogy of their situation, the trial of their destiny, or through their need for understanding and care, and perhaps above all through the persistent question of the meaning of suffering. Thus, although the world of suffering exists 'in dispersion,' at the same time it contains within itself a singular challenge to communion and solidarity. We shall also try to follow this appeal in the present reflection.
Considering the world of suffering in its personal and at the same time collective meaning, one cannot fail to notice the fact that this world, at some periods of time and in some eras of human existence, becomes as it were particularly concentrated. This happens, for example, in cases of natural disasters, epidemics, catastrophes, upheavals and various social scourges: one thinks, for example, of a bad harvest and connected with it--or with various other causes--the scourge of famine.
One thinks, finally, of war. I speak of this in a particular way. I speak of the last two World Wars, the second of which brought with it a much greater harvest of death and a much burden of human sufferings. The second half of our century, in its turn, brings with it-- as though in proportion to the mistakes and transgressions of our contemporary civilization--such a horrible threat of nuclear war that we cannot think of this period except in terms of an incomparable accumulation of sufferings, even to the possible self-destruction of humanity. In this way, that world of suffering which in brief has its subject in each human being, seems in our age to be transformed--perhaps more than at any other moment--into a special 'world': the world which as never before has been transformed by progress through man's work and, at the same time, is as never before in danger because of man's mistakes and offenses."...
--Pope John Paul II, 1984, 'ON THE CHRISTIAN MEANING
OF HUMAN SUFFERING'
TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE.
1) one-page statement to PREMIER OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Mike Harcourt, dated Christmas, 1989 (June 5, 1992)...
2) copies of these terms of reference:
3) copy of Christmas, 1989 (December 31, 1991)... statement to "Irangate" INDEPENDENT COUNSEL Lawrence E. Walsh (with all original terms of reference provided).
4) copy of Christmas, 1989 (February 7, 1992)... statement to Mr. Walsh (with all original terms of reference provided).
PREMIER HARCOURT: As PREMIER Bourassa did send that representative of Quebec's Health Ministry to the recent meeting of provincial authorities, i assume this may be redundant, but as i mentioned in my Christmas, 1989 (March 23, 1990)... submission to then-BRITISH COLUMBIA PREMIER Vander Zalm, the July 28, 1979 Toronto Star published an English translation (by Clarke Irwin) of a November 1944 JEC (Jeresse etudiante catholique) article in French by Pierre E. Trudeau that stated the following:
"...I do not want you to think that the mind is subjected to a healthy discipline merely by worrying about simplistic problems.
I only wish to remind you of that principle of logic which states that valid conclusions do not generally follow from false premises."
I would have started composing the statement to you this past Tuesday but on that day i
got an invitation to the wedding of the daughter of the uncle who was more like a father
to me when i was growing up than the real one (often so busy with his work). He was
killed awhile after 1978 and i couldn't even afford to go back to Thunder Bay for the
funeral. The wedding is August 8th; she is Catholic...as Ms. Carney knows, i promised
that my next statement to Pope John Paul II would remind him of all the suffering and
sacrifices i've endured waiting for his faith's members to respond to "(my) present
In particular, (noting Eugene Forsey's words) we have the last four prime ministers of Canada.