• Michael Haldas

Pain and Love

“All of us have known moments during which close kin or wonderful friends have suffered a grievous loss. Our instinct is to go to them, to comfort them during this time of pain. Many times, however, we hold back that love and comfort that we want to offer, because we are afraid that we can't express our feelings in the appropriate way. Unsure of finding the right words, we stay away…Many years ago Dr. Karl Menninger, the noted physician and psychological researcher, was seeking the cause of many of the illnesses suffered by his patients. After many years of study and thought, he concluded that much of the pain and suffering of those he treated was related to the lack of love in their lives.” (Fr. Andrew Demotses)


“The deeper the bonds of love and intimacy, the sharper the pain of alienation through offenses. The more we truly know someone, the more cutting off the bond of love cuts to the core of who we are. We cannot define ourselves solely in an individualistic, autonomous manner. This is a falsehood, our own egocentrism. Who we are, as Christians, as persons, is a mystery hidden in Christ of our union with one another. A husband and wife are one flesh in Christ. “My brother is my life,” said St. Silouan. There is a sacred bond of love in friendship, whether in the world or in a monastery. We must be very watchful so as to preserve that bond. But the greater the intimacy is, the greater is the likelihood of deep offenses occurring—because intimacy presupposes vulnerability. This, however, is an aspect of how we grow in knowledge of one another—constant forgiveness and reconciliation. We come to know and accept the other person for who they are. We hopefully begin to recognize our projections and expectations and drop them. Then, we come to know ourselves better through others.” (Hieromonk Jonah)


“There is never a pain as deep as that inflicted by someone who is supposed to love you.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“We can think we follow Jesus, but if we are not willing to share in someone else’s pain we are far from Him despite how much we go to Church, how much we pray, and how much money we give. He condescended to us through Mary and entered fully into our human pain and suffering. He shared and continues to share our pain through love. We often avoid the pain of others, especially emotional pain, because it is too painful for us. But pain avoidance is love avoidance. It’s hard to take on someone else’s pain, especially the pain of a loved one. It can strip us of everything, and take from us our peace and joy. Yet to willingly enter into the experience of their pain, to share it with them, to love them through it and be at their side as we suffer with them, is when we are most like Christ and He gives us His strength to get through it.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“Pain is a very real part of any relationship. It is inevitable when you share yourself with another person…Love sweetens pain; and when one loves God, one suffers for His sake with joy and courage.” (David Gudgel, Brother Lawrence)


#FrAndrewDemotses #HieromonkJonah #FatherStephenFreeman #SacramentalLivingMinistries #DavidGudgel #BrotherLawrence

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