The Personalist Project

Today's Magnificat meditation, which comes from John Janaro (whose name is not familiar to me) is beautifully personalistic.

My trials have opened my eyes, my ears, and my heart to something I never noticed in my youth.  Maybe it is because I have finally started listening to people.  The fact is that many people are suffering, many of them more than I.  Indeed, suffering is deeper than the immediate external struggles that engage most of us.  Everyone has something missing in life, something that has disappointed, something that does not measure up to a once-cherished hope, something that inhibits freedom, some burden that tires, some hunger that is never satisfied.

People usually accommodate themselves to reduced expectations about life, especially as they get older.  How else could they get through the day?  Sometimes, however, one can still catch an echo of a cry of pain, that deep and mysterious pain at the heart of every human life.  Life is, in some measure, always something that has to be endured.

Why is this?  We suffer because of sin: original sin, our own personal sins, and the sins of the world.  We suffer in Christ, who is God's love made personal and particular for each on of us.  Jesus is God drawn close to our wounded humanity, so close that he takes upon himself—not merely in some general way but in a way that encompasses each one of us.

Note the themes of listening, of suffering, of interiority, mystery, freedom, of need and vulnerability, of personal uniqueness, and of love. I've just ordered his book, Never Give up: My Life and God's Mercy.

Comments (2)


#1, Sep 11, 2012 7:20pm

I applaud Janaro's sincerity, but I find his theology and his approach to the alleviation of suffering to be wrong.  I believe that Christ suffered and died so we wouldn't have to.  So, I don't believe we suffer in Christ per se because of original sin as Janaro professes we do.  On the contrary, we take profound joy in our fallen nature because in humility we acknowledge our fallen nature and embrace it, knowing that Christ paid our debts in this regard.  It means that even in Christ, we suffer, but we suffer not because of original sin, our sins, or other's sins; we suffer because of our unmet true needs and feelings.  My prayer for Janaro is that he realizes this and gets the healing he needs.

Devra Torres

#2, Sep 14, 2012 1:15pm

Pete, I started to reply to this comment and decided it will probably fit better in a post than a comment.  Stay tuned!

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