Homily by Fr Hugh
We don’t really understand suffering, especially when the innocent suffer. It is an old complaint that surely a loving and all-powerful God would never let the innocent suffer, and it is one we often make when we believe we have just suffered or witnessed it. I have no answers to that directly, and no one does, though it has been discussed many times. But I do want to approach suffering from another angle today. Without suffering we would be without the virtue of compassion, literally ‘suffering with.’ You could say, well let’s give up that virtue in exchange for the loss of suffering. But compassion has a tremendous power, is a tremendous power for good, and it is good that we are looking for. In the film ‘Rendition’ the young CIA man is finally moved to leave and help others when he sees and is drawn into the suffering of one of their prisoners at the hands of his own organisation. This sudden, almost shock, of feeling compassion turns his life around, restores his natural goodness, and he then finds the courage to risk everything and free others. The power of compassion can break through our fear and hardened prejudices. It can remind us of a humanity lost, distorted, through the pressures laid upon us to conform to what the world expects….
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