I realized that healing begins with our taking our pain out of its diabolic isolation and seeing that whatever we suffer, we suffer it in communion with all of humanity, and yes, all of creation. In so doing, we become participants in the great battle against the powers of darkness. Our little lives participate in something larger.

Henri Nouwen

I realized that healing begins with our taking our pain out of its diabolic isolation and seeing that whatever we suffer, we suffer it in communion with all of humanity, and yes, all of creation. In so doing, we become participants in the great battle against the powers of darkness. Our little lives participate in something larger. I also found something else here: people asking not so much “How can I get rid of my suffering?” but “How can I make it an occasion for growth and insight?” Among these people, most of whom cannot read, many of whom cannot care for themselves, among men and women rejected by a world that values only the whole and bright and healthy, I saw people learning how to make the connection between human suffering and God’s suffering. They helped me to see how the way through suffering is not to deny it, but to live fully in the midst of it. They were asking how they could turn pain from a long interruption into an opportunity. How do we make such connections ourselves? How do we make this shift from evading our pain to asking God to redeem and make good use of it?

Source: Turn My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope in Hard Times (pp. 5-6).

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