Does suffering have spiritual meaning?

Does suffering have spiritual meaning?

That may be one reason the right-to-die movement, led by advocacy groups such as Compassion & Choices and others, is so worrisome to many of its opponents. If suffering is optional, then it might also be spiritually meaningless.

That’s a very different perspective than what is taught by many of the world’s religions and philosophies.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his first Easter address to the world after his 2005 election, spoke of heroic suffering, which he said should be accepted by believers to unite them with Jesus’ suffering for the love and salvation of mankind.

The world had just witnessed his predecessor, St. John Paul II, grapple with his own public suffering as a series of end-of-life ailments robbed the once-vigorous pope of his vitality.

But there was little doubt in John Paul’s mind about the value of suffering. “Your sufferings, accepted and borne with unshakeable faith, when joined to those of Christ take on extraordinary value for the life of the Church and the good of humanity,” he said in his 1993 address to mark the First Annual World Day of the Sick.  full story